Soca Warriors Online Discussion Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Socapro on March 05, 2015, 07:47:18 AM

Title: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 05, 2015, 07:47:18 AM
Please take time to look at the whole video especially if you are Afro-Trini and care about the future of your people in T&T. T&T with so much fertile land has no right to be depending on other Caribbean countries for most of its food but with the present government looking for a reason to justify leasing farm land from Guyana in order to grow food there for T&T and to give their friends and family their kickbacks, you can see why they are trying to destroy African farmers in T&T.
 
Destroying and displacing the Guave Road farmers is also connected with the Water Park and 3-Story Car Park that they plan to build in the Chaguaramas Wet lands at the detriment of the environment, wildlife and farmers in that area who have been farming the land since 1951 and some of the older farmers have been on that land since before World War II when the area being given over to the Americans for their Military Base.

GUAVE ROAD FARMERS CHAGUARAMAS since 1951.. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO W.I.
https://www.youtube.com/v/wj9UfN_8O20

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 2014....This should not be happening in a country with such wealth ,,,,and such little Natural food resource. Go here for latest pics and info: https://www.facebook.com/guaveroad.farmers?fref=ts

Question is why are so many people in T&T sitting back and allowing this to happen in a country where they brag that every creed and race finds an equal place.

There is a march planned tomorrow (Friday 6th March) in T&T from Chaguaramas to the PM's office in Port-of-Spain in protest of the victimization of African farmers where their crops are being destroyed and their land is being stolen from them.

Also recently the government sold off a valuable asset of the people the Chaguaramas Convention Centre for a 3rd of its value to one of their friends. This should never be allowed without the consent of the general population.

(http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/Socapro/Chaguaramas%20Hotel%20and%20Convention%20Centre%20Western%20Main%20Road%20Chaguaramas.jpg) (http://s124.photobucket.com/user/Socapro/media/Chaguaramas%20Hotel%20and%20Convention%20Centre%20Western%20Main%20Road%20Chaguaramas.jpg.html)
National Asset - The Chaguaramas Convention Centre sold by the PP Government for 30 million (just 1/3 of its value) to one of their friends/sponsors!!
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Peong on March 05, 2015, 12:11:22 PM
So is it that the farmers were cultivating on govt land or what?  Sorry I didn't watch the video.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 05, 2015, 01:10:02 PM
So is it that the farmers were cultivating on govt land or what?  Sorry I didn't watch the video.

Watch the video and go to the facebook page it will answer all your questions.
https://www.facebook.com/guaveroad.farmers?fref=ts
Title: PNM leader ready to march to protect Chaguaramas Convention Centre
Post by: Socapro on March 06, 2015, 12:21:47 AM
This story is related to my first post above...

PNM leader ready to march to protect Chaguaramas Convention Centre (http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/PNM-leader-ready-to-march-to-protect-Chaguaramas-Convention-Centre-295272171.html)
By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com
Story Created: Mar 5, 2015 at 9:22 PM ECT (T&T Express)

(http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/Socapro/Dr.%20Keith%20Rowley%20Leader%20PNM.jpg) (http://s124.photobucket.com/user/Socapro/media/Dr.%20Keith%20Rowley%20Leader%20PNM.jpg.html)
Dr. Keith Rowley PNM Leader leading march from Chaguaramas

Political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM), Dr Keith Rowley, has said he was prepared to lead a march to Chaguaramas to protect his political party’s sentimental patrimony — the Chaguaramas Convention Centre.

The march, he said, would indicate that the people of Trinidad and Tobago were not prepared to accept the corruption of the Kamla Persad-Bissessar Government.

Rowley claimed that the Government had disposed of eight acres of prime estate at Chaguaramas, on which the convention centre and hotel were built.

Speaking at a PNM cottage meeting in Marabella on Wednesday, Rowley said: “I went to Parliament and asked the Prime Minister, has the Government or any of its agencies disposed of by way of sale or lease the Chaguaramas Convention Centre and the Hotel. If that is so, what was the mechanism that was used to select the beneficiary, what are the terms of sale? The Prime Minister responded, she confirmed that a transaction had been made and there is some disposal of the asset by way of sale or lease.”

Rowley said for the past tree years, the Chaguaramas Convention Centre was never available for the PNM’s annual convention.

“Some of the PNM people write me attacking me for trying to kill Eric Williams and one of the proof is that I don’t go to Chaguaramas for convention and we say we can’t get it and we end up going to the Queen’s Park Savannah,” he said.

Rowley questioned whether the lease of the Chaguaramas estate required Cabinet approval.

“I asked the Prime Minister if the Cabinet approved the transaction, she said she didn’t know. I assume from that behaviour that it was not approved by Cabinet....,” he said.
Title: CDA Destroys Farmers’ Crops
Post by: Socapro on March 06, 2015, 07:12:32 PM
Featured on the TV6 News yesterday!!

Some of them have given up but the majority of farmers who work the land at Guave Road in Chaguaramas are staging for a fight against future development plans of the Chaguaramas Development Authority.......

CDA Destroys Farmers’ Crops
https://www.youtube.com/v/jOgYaA2g-8o

Title: Protesters march from Chaguaramas to Port-of-Spain
Post by: Socapro on March 06, 2015, 07:18:34 PM
Protesters march from Chaguaramas to Port-of-Spain (http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-03-06/video-protesters-march-chaguaramas-port-spain)
Published: Friday, March 6, 2015 (T&T Guardian)

(http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/Socapro/Guave%20Road%20farmers%20march%20in%20front%20of%20the%20Chaguaramas%20Convention%20Centre%20on%20March%206.png) (http://s124.photobucket.com/user/Socapro/media/Guave%20Road%20farmers%20march%20in%20front%20of%20the%20Chaguaramas%20Convention%20Centre%20on%20March%206.png.html)
Guave Road farmers march in front of the Chaguaramas Convention Centre on March 6, in protest against what they describe as the destruction of their livelihood by the Chaguaramas Development Authority, the body responsible for the development of the area. Photo: Jeff Mayers / T&T Guardian

Political parties and civil society groups are taking part in a joint protest that involves a march from Chaguaramas to Parliament.
 
The march, which started this morning, is in part a protest against Government’s disposal of lands in Chaguaramas. Area farmers in particular say they are being affected.
 
Members of the Guave Road Farmers’ Association turned out this morning at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, chanting loudly as they marched toward the building.

Independent Liberal Party leader Jack Warner, Movement for Social Justice political leader David Abdulah and People’s National Movement political leader Dr. Keith Rowley are among the political figures involved in the action.
 
The demonstators' route includes the Prime Minister’s office in St. Clair, and the Parliament, Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.
Title: ‘Govt wicked’
Post by: Socapro on March 07, 2015, 09:13:46 AM
‘Govt wicked’ (http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,207960.html)
By CAROL MATROO Saturday, March 7 2015 (T&T Newsday)

“They wicked!” “They just doing what they want!” “That woman just come from nowhere and taking people thing!”


These were the angry shouts against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her People’s Partnership Government by incensed Carenage farmers and residents who took to the streets in protest, yesterday.

Scores of protestors braved the scorching midday sun as they marched from Guave Road, Chaguaramas, to outside the Parliament at the Waterfront, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

They claimed Government was taking away their livelihoods, their heritage and their economy from the people of the community.

Over 45 families have been affected by the actions of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) who destroyed acres of crops on lands at Guave Road, last Wednesday.

“They are not going to use the area, they just want to fight and push people out,” one man shouted as he walked by with his placard.

Movement for Social Justice’s (MSJ) David Abdulah, who joined the Independent Liberal Party’s political leader Jack Warner in the march, said residents of Carenage, particularly the farmers who planted the land in Guave Road for decades, came out to protest what was essentially the destruction of the heritage, lifestyle and birthright of the people of the community.

Abdulah said during the second World War, Chaguaramas was given by the English to the Americans and the people who lived in the Chaguaramas area were displaced from the land. He said many of them still had deeds and wanted to get back the lands they said were theirs. “Descendants of those original families have been planting the area of Guave as farmers for decades. Their lands have been bulldozed repeatedly as the CDA has been trying to put in place some so called development which paradigm is totally opposed to the interest of the people of this community.

“Now people heard about the giving away of the Chaguaramas Convention Centre which is part of the country’s historical heritage and legacy. And also major lands opposite the Convention Centre giving way to another conglomerate. So people have gotten incensed and they have come out in protest,” he said. Abdulah said the CDA was trying to create a Chaguaramas which was going to be a development which was really alien to the culture and tradition which involved farming and small entrepreneurship.

Kamraj Ramroop said he had been planting the land for over 15 years, but was forced off the land, and all his crops destroyed.

“I was run off the land by CDA officers with batons in their hands. I was arrested and spent a night in the jail. I went to court and the magistrate said the farmers are the occupiers of the land and the CDA is claiming the land and they have no evidence, they did not give the court any evidence stating that they are the owners of the land. I had about two acres of ochro and pumpkin planted and they chopped down all. It was worth over $30,000 and now I have no children with no income,” Ramroop lamented.

Speaking about the Chaguaramas issue in the House of Representatives yesterday, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal declared, “You cannot have development if you don’t have conflict.”

“Today I reflected, Eric Williams marched to Chaguaramas to free Trinidad and Tobago. Today, they are marching to imprison Trinidad and Tobago,” he quipped. Moonilal said he found it curious that as Government seeks to develop Chaguaramas to promote economic activity there, people march and protest.

“When they built Pier whatever for Chin Lee they did not protest,” he added, speaking of Pier I, an entertainment facility and marina, owned by the family of former PNM government minister Howard Chin Lee.

Turning to the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, Moonilal said, “That structure is termite infested, woodlice infested. TTEC has said that they can do no work down there.”

Claiming that it was costing “$4 million a year to manage a place that cannot be used,” Moonilal scoffed, “They feel that they own Chaguaramas Convention Centre as if it is Balisier House but it is not Balisier House, it is for the development of TT.”

When St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh questioned Moonilal on the relevance of Chaguaramas to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Bill 2014 which the House was debating at that time, Moonilal replied that more cars on the road, meant a greater likelihood of traffic offences under this legislation. He said the same reasoning applied to the development of places like Chaguaramas as economic zones. “Surely you can see that,” Moonilal told Deyalsingh.
Title: Abdulah on Chaguaramas development protest
Post by: Socapro on March 07, 2015, 09:58:40 AM
Abdulah on Chaguaramas development protest (http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-03-07/abdulah-chaguaramas-development-protest)
By Rachael Espinet (T&T Guardian)
Published: Saturday, March 7, 2015

(http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/Socapro/Guave%20Farmers%20walk%20along%20the%20Western%20Main%20Road%20Cocorite.jpg) (http://s124.photobucket.com/user/Socapro/media/Guave%20Farmers%20walk%20along%20the%20Western%20Main%20Road%20Cocorite.jpg.html)
Guave Farmers walk along the Western Main Road, Cocorite, during their protest from Chaguaramas to Parliament yesterday. PHOTO: KRSITIAN DE SILVA

What started as a march against the development of land by farmers in the Chaguaramas area, yesterday cascaded into a forum where some citizens could air their grievances about the state of the country’s affairs.
 
Approximately 200 people marched from the Chaguaramas Hotel and Convention Centre to Parliament at the International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain, to air their concerns over the land matter and other issues.
 
A few marched for what they believed was their land. A few marched for the preservation of what they believed was a historical land mark. A few marched for equal access for all. And some marched against the Government.
 
“This morning is a very important morning and day in the history of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1960 there was the march for Chaguaramas and that was a struggle led by Dr (Eric) Williams to reclaim this piece of land for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
 
“Today, more than 60 years later, the people of Trinidad and Tobago have to fight to reclaim once again what is ours,” said David Abdulah, leader of the Movement for Social Justice.
 
Yesterday’s march stemmed from an ongoing row between farmers of the Chaguaramas area and the Chaguaramas Development Authority.
 
Farmers have expressed their grievances about being displaced from land they cultivated for many years.
 
However, other issues like the development of Chaguaramas, the possible destruction of the convention centre and full access to the Chaguaramas area were among the grouses protesters had yesterday.
 
The protesters expressed concerns that the Government had sold numerous acers of land in Chaguaramas to private owners.
 
Abdulah claimed there was governmental interference and nepotism with the business matters of Chaguaramas.
 
Too much history
 
Like the protesters, Abdulah said the convention centre should not be torn down because it is a valuable part of Caribbean history.
 
“Big business people getting this Convention Centre where the Treaty of Chaguaramas was signed, bringing into existence Caricom, and the revised treaty of Caricom was also signed here, bringing into being the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.
 
“This location has history not only for the people of Carenage, not only for people of Trinidad and Tobago, but for the entire region, the entire Caribbean,” Abdulah said.
 
Members of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and citizens from around the country also gathered to march in solidarity with the residents from Chaguaramas.
 
“This is not a political march. It is not even a march for the trade unions, or job security. This is a march to preserve the history of the country. This is a march for fight for the inequality that is taking place in the country,” ILP leader Jack Warner said.
 
Many senior citizens, some of whom marched with Dr Williams in the 60s, marched from Carenage to Port-of-Spain.
 
David Wilson, a 63-year-old man from El Dorado, Tunapuna, made the entire walk from Chaguaramas to Port-of-Spain on crutches. Wilson said the crutches was for a three-year-old leg injury, but he had to make the march because he was not happy with what was going on in the country.
 
CDA only leasing
 
In response to the protest, CDA CEO Joycelin Hargreaves told the T&T Guardian that according to the Chaguaramas Development Authority Act the land cannot be sold. However, it can be leased for up to 30 years.
 
Hargreaves also confirmed that the CDA planned to turn the Convention Centre into a four-star hotel. As such, she said there will be a lot of work done on it and there was no guarantee the original buildings will be preserved.
 
She added that the CDA has been in the process of leasing out land to investors, but said she could not specify due to legal reasons.
 
Responding to the farmers’ complaints, Hargreaves said according to the CDA Act, land in Chaguaramas can be leased, and if the farmers have proof that they have a lease they should bring it forward.
 
Hoping to assuage the fears of the protesters, Hargreaves said the CDA’s goal is to provide an open and accessible area that will be enjoyed by all.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Agent Jack Bauer on March 07, 2015, 04:02:11 PM
Saw a few douglas and Indians in the crowd
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Sam on March 07, 2015, 05:07:01 PM
Socapro, stop trying to always bring race into your f00cking shit nah.

What T&T government doing here is because of race or she just doh give a f00ck about people lives?

Ent she doing de same thing all over T&T, look at Kublalsingh case.

Man stop with de f00cking ole creole mentality nah.

She wrong she wrong, she racist, I eh know, maybe, but this what she doing here is because of race?

All you doing is trying to divide de people.

Rowley eh no difference anyway.

Indians getting affected by this to.

This Kamla is poison to T&T.

Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 07, 2015, 06:03:36 PM
Socapro, stop trying to always bring race into your f00cking shit nah.

What T&T government doing here is because of race or she just doh give a f00ck about people lives?

Ent she doing de same thing all over T&T, look at Kublalsingh case.

Man stop with de f00cking ole creole mentality nah.

She wrong she wrong, she racist, I eh know, maybe, but this what she doing here is because of race?

All you doing is trying to divide de people.

Rowley eh no difference anyway.

Indians getting affected by this to.

This Kamla is poison to T&T.

Me pointing out that the government is carrying out racist policies towards a certain segment of the population does not mean that I am divding the country Sam.

I am not even living in T&T and I am not in charge of or responsible for all the racist BS that is now going on down there, therefore it is not me who is dividing the country.

Answer this! Why are East Indian farmers in T&T the only ones now being given land by the government for farming etc while in contrast African farmers like those in Chaguaramas (over 90% of them are African) are being victimized and driven off their farm land?
And to make matters worse T&T is now importing food and is now even leasing farm land from Guyana to grow food for T&T when we could easily be producing more food at home and so reduce our food import bill!

And how do you know that Rowley is no different to Kamliar? Has he been in power yet and which East Indians in T&T has he victimised?
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Jumbie on March 07, 2015, 07:30:51 PM
was going to keep out of this as captain blaka is on the rampage with the hate.

after the Manning administration got back into power after the Panday administration the very same thing was done to farmers/crops in Tabaquite. A massive crop of watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupes were bulldoze down. Even when villagers tried to reap some, they were prevented by police officials. Farmers were ruined by cash crops gone to garbage.

This is not the first time this happening.. the farmers then were predominately Indian and cocoa pynol. The very same thing was done to homes in Claxton bay, marabela (on the line) and other areas were people were squatting on Govt Land. I guess the same thing was done to the Muslims rong the corner from the stadium?

Not sure if this is a race issue. Chag is prime for development and the land will be premium.



Land should be appropriated (and managed) to these farmers so they don't run into problems when they squat.

Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 07, 2015, 08:39:03 PM
was going to keep out of this as captain blaka is on the rampage with the hate.

after the Manning administration got back into power after the Panday administration the very same thing was done to farmers/crops in Tabaquite. A massive crop of watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupes were bulldoze down. Even when villagers tried to reap some, they were prevented by police officials. Farmers were ruined by cash crops gone to garbage.

This is not the first time this happening.. the farmers then were predominately Indian and cocoa pynol. The very same thing was done to homes in Claxton bay, marabela (on the line) and other areas were people were squatting on Govt Land. I guess the same thing was done to the Muslims rong the corner from the stadium?

Not sure if this is a race issue. Chag is prime for development and the land will be premium.



Land should be appropriated (and managed) to these farmers so they don't run into problems when they squat.



Maybe you should have kept out of this thread if you had nothing sensible to contribute.
Why come in here to try to justify racism because I am pointing it out against African farmers?

FYI I am against racism regardless of which government or political party it comes from and I am not a PNM as I have never voted for them and most likely never will. If I was living in T&T I would probably join the MSJ if I decide to join and support a political party.

Why should someone pointing out victimization of African farmers be branded as an act of hate? Who am I hating by pointing out what is going on?

Btw the current T&T government is definitely racist based on some of the main policies they have been executing and anyone who can't see it is either uninformed, in denial or also of the same ilk as they are.

PS: Btw who told you that the farmers are squatting when they have been farming that land since 1951?
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Jumbie on March 07, 2015, 08:59:00 PM
I see you can't handle some truths! What I post is factual as I saw it with my own eyes. Didn't mention it to justify anything.

You want to speak about sensible?  You against racism? Do you even know what any of this means?


If they were not squatting NO gov't could go in and destroy their property. Do I have to spell that out to you as well? They would not be marching but be taking actual legal action with solid grounds.

Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 07, 2015, 09:08:21 PM
I see you can't handle some truths! What I post is factual as I saw it with my own eyes. Didn't mention it to justify anything.

You want to speak about sensible?  You against racism? Do you even know what any of this means?


If they were not squatting NO gov't could go in and destroy their property. Do I have to spell that out to you as well? They would not be marching but be taking actual legal action with solid grounds.



The point I was making is that your post does not negate anything I posted therefore it is irrelevant to my thread. Racism is racism regardless of which government it comes from. Get it now dimwit?!

Now move along and try to resist posting lame irrelevant arguments to my thread that do not change the reality of what I am highlighting.

The current T&T government is clearly racist in many of its policies and only a blind person or a racist themself will try to deny it.
I will keep pointing out the elephant in the room even though people like you will try to deny that it is there.

Btw who told you that the farmers are not taking legal action or haven't already taken some legal action?
Do you know all the details of their case or are you making wild asumptions?
You obviously did not take time to look at the video that I posted otherwise you would be aware that the Guave Road Farmers have already taken the matter to court and it is ongoing.

The PP government has been illegally trying to lease/sell off Guave Road Farmers land to private investors in the Chaguaramas area. The government does not have the legal right to sell off their land that has been farmed by Guave Road Farmers and has been producing much needed food, provisions, etc for the country since 1951. It is an illegal act!
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Agent Jack Bauer on March 07, 2015, 09:20:41 PM
 :banginghead: :banginghead: :banginghead:
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 07, 2015, 09:37:51 PM
Saw a few douglas and Indians in the crowd

So what? Aren't they Trinidadians too who should care about the victmization of fellow Trinidadians? What is your point?  ::)
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Flex on March 08, 2015, 09:25:43 AM
Saudis in T&T for firsthand look at property.
By Renuka Singh (Guardian).


A Saudi Arabian contingent, photographed entering Parliament on Friday, toured the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, Chaguaramas peninsula and Tobago’s Magdalena Grand Beach Resort to weigh their investment potential. The group, the Sunday Guardian learned, is ready to invest some US$1 billion into T&T and have already met with Trade and Investment Minister Vasant Bharath and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal during their short time in T&T.

The Sunday Guardian understands that while the group discussed several investment options for the billionaire Saudi businessmen, at the top of the list is the expansion and upgrade of Tobago’s most exclusive resort, investment in the Chaguaramas Convention Centre and investment in commercial and residential developments on both islands.  The group discussed the possibility of investing in the construction of an exclusive hotel and shopping mall reminiscent of those in oil-rich Dubai.

Bharath, in a brief interview yesterday, confirmed that the men were at Parliament on Friday to meet with him and said this was the delegation’s third visit to T&T. “They are interested in investing in T&T. They are extremely interested in investing in residential as well as commercial property,” Bharath said. Bharath first met with the interested investors when his ministry visited the United Arab Emirates to receive a World Bank Award for improvement in the public service delivery back in 2013.

“They have requested a T&T presence in Saudi, that is an invesTT office,” Bharath said. He also confirmed the contingent toured the Magdalena Grand yesterday, looking at the expansion and upgrade options. When asked if the men were looking to buy the hotel, Bharath said it was an investment, not a purchase. “Invest in expanding with the Government,” he said.

$200M to repair centre

This most recent interest in the local hotels comes just days after Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley raised the question of the possible divestment of the Chaguaramas Convention Centre. Speaking at a cottage meeting in Marabella last week, Rowley claimed that the Government had disposed of eight acres of prime estate at Chaguaramas, on which the convention centre and hotel were built.

Rowley’s comment prompted Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) chairman Danny Solomon and chief executive officer Jocelyn Hargreaves to reveal that the area was not sold, but leased to Insite Developers. Like the Saudi businessmen, Insite Developers are seeking to “partner” with an international brand hotel management operator for a four-star hotel in Chaguaramas.

In a telephone interview yesterday, however, Solomon said the visitors did not actually tour the actual Convention Centre, but did a land and sea tour which showed them what the CDA had to offer and the rest of the Chaguaramas peninsula. Solomon also said that the Convention Centre is in dire need of over $200 million in repairs. He said just two weeks ago, the T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC) declared that 75 per cent of the building was unsafe and condemned portions of the aged structure.

“It is a drain and it should be a good thing if we are looking to diversify the income stream,” Solomon said Any possible investment could be a positive move for the centre, as Bharath described the Saudi-linked investments as “very high end” and similar to projects in Dubai. Bharath said the US$1 billion investment is not the end, but rather the beginning as they will be making that massive investment “in the first instance.”

Talks not done yet

The Sunday Guardian contacted head of the Trinidad/Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Shazaad Mohammed, who has Trinidadian lineage and currently lives in Saudi Arabia, for comment on the pending investment yesterday. Mohammed confirmed that the Saudi group had toured the Chaguaramas Convention Centre and the Magdalena Grand over the past two days. “We have not made a decision on either yet, but we are looking at investments like that of the Magdalena,” Mohammed said.

He confirmed that the group also toured several beach front properties in Tobago, looking at them for potential investments. “In Trinidad we looked at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, looking at investments there as well,” Mohammed said. He said the Saudi Arabian group also spoke with Government representatives regarding the construction of a residential condo in Tobago and a five-star hotel in Trinidad.

He said the Trinidad/Saudi Chamber of Commerce is already planning another series of high-level talks with another batch of investors, with plans to visit T&T with them in the coming months.

About Magdalena Grand Beach resort

The Magdalena Grand Beach resort, located in Lowlands, Tobago, is fully owned by the Government. Back in 2011, the rundown Plantations estate underwent a massive and expensive renovation before being rebranded as The Magdalena. The same property was once the Tobago Hilton which closed back in 2008. International hoteliers behind the Hilton brand pulled their name from the hotel and the property was then offered on the market for just under $140 million.

In 2011, the Government utilised US$25 million and undertook repair and rebranding through Evolving Technologies (eTeck).

Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Agent Jack Bauer on March 08, 2015, 02:31:33 PM
Saw a few douglas and Indians in the crowd

So what? Aren't they Trinidadians too who should care about the victmization of fellow Trinidadians? What is your point?  ::)
you shouldn't be this ignoramus but you are so I won't bother
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Bourbon on March 08, 2015, 03:35:41 PM
Just throwing it out there. Apparently security of tenure and certificates of comfort are given once you occupied the land for 16 or more years.  Also if you farming. In fact that argument either ends with the inhabitants of the land getting another somewhere as compensation or they allowed to use it.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 08, 2015, 04:16:42 PM
Saw a few douglas and Indians in the crowd

So what? Aren't they Trinidadians too who should care about the victmization of fellow Trinidadians? What is your point?  ::)
you shouldn't be this ignoramus but you are so I won't bother

Just as I thought, your post was pointless.
Some of you have to learn to resist posting if you have nothing sensible to add to the thread.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 08, 2015, 04:54:13 PM
Just throwing it out there. Apparently security of tenure and certificates of comfort are given once you occupied the land for 16 or more years.  Also if you farming. In fact that argument either ends with the inhabitants of the land getting another somewhere as compensation or they allowed to use it.

Thanks for adding something of substance to this thread unlike some of the other posters who are so upset that I've labeled the PP government as racist (which they are) that they can’t focus on the issue at hand. The issue at hand is the victimization of the Guave Road Farmers by the destruction of their livelihood and trying to drive them off their farm land with no compensation and the government selling off prime Chaguaramas real estate cheaply to their friends and private investors without any consultation with the farmers or the general T&T public.

It is not just this incident that has led me to the conclusion that we are dealing with a racist T&T government that does not care about the country and is happy to sell off most of its prime assets to private investors. This latest incident is just one of many different incidents that have led me to my conclusion.

Many folks don’t realize the significance of the Chaguaramas area towards T&T gaining its independence and that Eric Williams had to lead a public march there in 1960 to get the area back from the Americans who were given the area to use for their military base during World War II but did not want to give it up after the war had ended. It was that movement to get the colonizers (both the British and the Americans) out and to get the area back for the people of T&T that led to us going for our independence.

Also many of the Guave Road farmers are descendents of ex African slaves who acquired land in that area and went into farming after the Abolition of slavery. Some were persuaded by the colonial authorities to temporarily give up their land for use as a US military base during World War II but since the war ended there has been disputes about giving them deeds to the farm land that they had previously owned and farmed for generations since the Abolition of Slavery.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Conquering Lion on March 08, 2015, 08:28:20 PM
Just throwing it out there. Apparently security of tenure and certificates of comfort are given once you occupied the land for 16 or more years.  Also if you farming. In fact that argument either ends with the inhabitants of the land getting another somewhere as compensation or they allowed to use it.

Thanks for adding something of substance to this thread unlike some of the other posters who are so upset that I've labeled the PP government as racist (which they are) that they can’t focus on the issue at hand. The issue at hand is the victimization of the Guave Road Farmers by the destruction of their livelihood and trying to drive them off their farm land with no compensation and the government selling off prime Chaguaramas real estate cheaply to their friends and private investors without any consultation with the farmers or the general T&T public.

It is not just this incident that has led me to the conclusion that we are dealing with a racist T&T government that does not care about the country and is happy to sell off most of its prime assets to private investors. This latest incident is just one of many different incidents that have led me to my conclusion.

Many folks don’t realize the significance of the Chaguaramas area towards T&T gaining its independence and that Eric Williams had to lead a public march there in 1960 to get the area back from the Americans who were given the area to use for their military base during World War II but did not want to give it up after the war had ended. It was that movement to get the colonizers (both the British and the Americans) out and to get the area back for the people of T&T that led to us going for our independence.

Also many of the Guave Road farmers are descendents of ex African slaves who acquired land in that area and went into farming after the Abolition of slavery. Some were persuaded by the colonial authorities to temporarily give up their land for use as a US military base during World War II but since the war ended there has been disputes about giving them deeds to the farm land that they had previously owned and farmed for generations since the Abolition of Slavery.

That is the part a lot of people conveniently forget. As I recall they were given verbal promises back in the day but were never given deeds for the lands......
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 09, 2015, 12:12:04 AM
Just throwing it out there. Apparently security of tenure and certificates of comfort are given once you occupied the land for 16 or more years.  Also if you farming. In fact that argument either ends with the inhabitants of the land getting another somewhere as compensation or they allowed to use it.

Thanks for adding something of substance to this thread unlike some of the other posters who are so upset that I've labeled the PP government as racist (which they are) that they can’t focus on the issue at hand. The issue at hand is the victimization of the Guave Road Farmers by the destruction of their livelihood and trying to drive them off their farm land with no compensation and the government selling off prime Chaguaramas real estate cheaply to their friends and private investors without any consultation with the farmers or the general T&T public.

It is not just this incident that has led me to the conclusion that we are dealing with a racist T&T government that does not care about the country and is happy to sell off most of its prime assets to private investors. This latest incident is just one of many different incidents that have led me to my conclusion.

Many folks don’t realize the significance of the Chaguaramas area towards T&T gaining its independence and that Eric Williams had to lead a public march there in 1960 to get the area back from the Americans who were given the area to use for their military base during World War II but did not want to give it up after the war had ended. It was that movement to get the colonizers (both the British and the Americans) out and to get the area back for the people of T&T that led to us going for our independence.

Also many of the Guave Road farmers are descendents of ex African slaves who acquired land in that area and went into farming after the Abolition of slavery. Some were persuaded by the colonial authorities to temporarily give up their land for use as a US military base during World War II but since the war ended there has been disputes about giving them deeds to the farm land that they had previously owned and farmed for generations since the Abolition of Slavery.

That is the part a lot of people conveniently forget. As I recall they were given verbal promises back in the day but were never given deeds for the lands......

Our ex-colonial masters have always looked for ways to try to discourage or to deprive ex-African slaves in T&T from owning large amounts of land as they knew it was the best way to keep Africans in T&T in economic slavery and still working to keep colonizers rich and in charge rather than working for themselves.

The PP government is simply trying to continue or to re-introduce the colonization that Eric Williams took the country to Independence to stop and fight against and they also seem determined to try to erase any legacy that Eric Williams has left behind in T&T for generations to come hence trying to get rid of the Chaguaramas Convention Centre rather than maintaining it as an important symbol of T&T's Independence and contributions towards the formation of Caricom, etc where many agreements were signed.

Eric Williams did not have his ashes sprinkled in waters off Chaguaramas after he died in 1981 for no reason. The act was to symbolize the importance that he viewed of always keeping the Chaguaramas area in the hands of the people of T&T if we are to remain an Independence nation that does not fall back into the hands of our ex-colonizers and those with similar intentions.

It is also interesting to note that the DLP which is the East Indian led political party that was formed in the 1950’s from which the current UNC has evolved, did not support the 1960 march for Chaguaramas that was led by Eric Williams nor did they support T&T’s move towards gaining Independence from the British in 1962.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: ribbit on March 09, 2015, 07:59:48 AM
nice post jumbie.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 09, 2015, 09:36:33 AM
nice post jumbie.

But it does not negate the points that I raised in this thread as racism is racism regardless of which government it comes from.

I never argued against what he posted and I suspect that he posted what he posted and imagined that I said he was lying to try to serve as some sort of distraction from the issues I raised in this thread.

Jumbie’s ploy to derail this thread from the issues at hand failed dismally though and your support for his irrelevant post will not change that position.
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Agent Jack Bauer on March 09, 2015, 07:27:29 PM
‘Govt wicked’ (http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,207960.html)
By CAROL MATROO Saturday, March 7 2015 (T&T Newsday)

“They wicked!” “They just doing what they want!” “That woman just come from nowhere and taking people thing!”


These were the angry shouts against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her People’s Partnership Government by incensed Carenage farmers and residents who took to the streets in protest, yesterday.

Scores of protestors braved the scorching midday sun as they marched from Guave Road, Chaguaramas, to outside the Parliament at the Waterfront, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

They claimed Government was taking away their livelihoods, their heritage and their economy from the people of the community.

Over 45 families have been affected by the actions of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) who destroyed acres of crops on lands at Guave Road, last Wednesday.

“They are not going to use the area, they just want to fight and push people out,” one man shouted as he walked by with his placard.

Movement for Social Justice’s (MSJ) David Abdulah, who joined the Independent Liberal Party’s political leader Jack Warner in the march, said residents of Carenage, particularly the farmers who planted the land in Guave Road for decades, came out to protest what was essentially the destruction of the heritage, lifestyle and birthright of the people of the community.

Abdulah said during the second World War, Chaguaramas was given by the English to the Americans and the people who lived in the Chaguaramas area were displaced from the land. He said many of them still had deeds and wanted to get back the lands they said were theirs. “Descendants of those original families have been planting the area of Guave as farmers for decades. Their lands have been bulldozed repeatedly as the CDA has been trying to put in place some so called development which paradigm is totally opposed to the interest of the people of this community.

“Now people heard about the giving away of the Chaguaramas Convention Centre which is part of the country’s historical heritage and legacy. And also major lands opposite the Convention Centre giving way to another conglomerate. So people have gotten incensed and they have come out in protest,” he said. Abdulah said the CDA was trying to create a Chaguaramas which was going to be a development which was really alien to the culture and tradition which involved farming and small entrepreneurship.

Kamraj Ramroop said he had been planting the land for over 15 years, but was forced off the land, and all his crops destroyed.

“I was run off the land by CDA officers with batons in their hands. I was arrested and spent a night in the jail. I went to court and the magistrate said the farmers are the occupiers of the land and the CDA is claiming the land and they have no evidence, they did not give the court any evidence stating that they are the owners of the land. I had about two acres of ochro and pumpkin planted and they chopped down all. It was worth over $30,000 and now I have no children with no income,” Ramroop lamented.

Speaking about the Chaguaramas issue in the House of Representatives yesterday, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal declared, “You cannot have development if you don’t have conflict.”

“Today I reflected, Eric Williams marched to Chaguaramas to free Trinidad and Tobago. Today, they are marching to imprison Trinidad and Tobago,” he quipped. Moonilal said he found it curious that as Government seeks to develop Chaguaramas to promote economic activity there, people march and protest.

“When they built Pier whatever for Chin Lee they did not protest,” he added, speaking of Pier I, an entertainment facility and marina, owned by the family of former PNM government minister Howard Chin Lee.

Turning to the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, Moonilal said, “That structure is termite infested, woodlice infested. TTEC has said that they can do no work down there.”

Claiming that it was costing “$4 million a year to manage a place that cannot be used,” Moonilal scoffed, “They feel that they own Chaguaramas Convention Centre as if it is Balisier House but it is not Balisier House, it is for the development of TT.”

When St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh questioned Moonilal on the relevance of Chaguaramas to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Bill 2014 which the House was debating at that time, Moonilal replied that more cars on the road, meant a greater likelihood of traffic offences under this legislation. He said the same reasoning applied to the development of places like Chaguaramas as economic zones. “Surely you can see that,” Moonilal told Deyalsingh.

 :banginghead: :banginghead: :banginghead:
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 09, 2015, 11:30:31 PM
‘Govt wicked’ (http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,207960.html)
By CAROL MATROO Saturday, March 7 2015 (T&T Newsday)

“They wicked!” “They just doing what they want!” “That woman just come from nowhere and taking people thing!”


These were the angry shouts against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her People’s Partnership Government by incensed Carenage farmers and residents who took to the streets in protest, yesterday.

Scores of protestors braved the scorching midday sun as they marched from Guave Road, Chaguaramas, to outside the Parliament at the Waterfront, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

They claimed Government was taking away their livelihoods, their heritage and their economy from the people of the community.

Over 45 families have been affected by the actions of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) who destroyed acres of crops on lands at Guave Road, last Wednesday.

“They are not going to use the area, they just want to fight and push people out,” one man shouted as he walked by with his placard.

Movement for Social Justice’s (MSJ) David Abdulah, who joined the Independent Liberal Party’s political leader Jack Warner in the march, said residents of Carenage, particularly the farmers who planted the land in Guave Road for decades, came out to protest what was essentially the destruction of the heritage, lifestyle and birthright of the people of the community.

Abdulah said during the second World War, Chaguaramas was given by the English to the Americans and the people who lived in the Chaguaramas area were displaced from the land. He said many of them still had deeds and wanted to get back the lands they said were theirs. “Descendants of those original families have been planting the area of Guave as farmers for decades. Their lands have been bulldozed repeatedly as the CDA has been trying to put in place some so called development which paradigm is totally opposed to the interest of the people of this community.

“Now people heard about the giving away of the Chaguaramas Convention Centre which is part of the country’s historical heritage and legacy. And also major lands opposite the Convention Centre giving way to another conglomerate. So people have gotten incensed and they have come out in protest,” he said. Abdulah said the CDA was trying to create a Chaguaramas which was going to be a development which was really alien to the culture and tradition which involved farming and small entrepreneurship.

Kamraj Ramroop said he had been planting the land for over 15 years, but was forced off the land, and all his crops destroyed.

“I was run off the land by CDA officers with batons in their hands. I was arrested and spent a night in the jail. I went to court and the magistrate said the farmers are the occupiers of the land and the CDA is claiming the land and they have no evidence, they did not give the court any evidence stating that they are the owners of the land. I had about two acres of ochro and pumpkin planted and they chopped down all. It was worth over $30,000 and now I have no children with no income,” Ramroop lamented.

Speaking about the Chaguaramas issue in the House of Representatives yesterday, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal declared, “You cannot have development if you don’t have conflict.”

“Today I reflected, Eric Williams marched to Chaguaramas to free Trinidad and Tobago. Today, they are marching to imprison Trinidad and Tobago,” he quipped. Moonilal said he found it curious that as Government seeks to develop Chaguaramas to promote economic activity there, people march and protest.

“When they built Pier whatever for Chin Lee they did not protest,” he added, speaking of Pier I, an entertainment facility and marina, owned by the family of former PNM government minister Howard Chin Lee.

Turning to the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, Moonilal said, “That structure is termite infested, woodlice infested. TTEC has said that they can do no work down there.”

Claiming that it was costing “$4 million a year to manage a place that cannot be used,” Moonilal scoffed, “They feel that they own Chaguaramas Convention Centre as if it is Balisier House but it is not Balisier House, it is for the development of TT.”

When St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh questioned Moonilal on the relevance of Chaguaramas to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Bill 2014 which the House was debating at that time, Moonilal replied that more cars on the road, meant a greater likelihood of traffic offences under this legislation. He said the same reasoning applied to the development of places like Chaguaramas as economic zones. “Surely you can see that,” Moonilal told Deyalsingh.

 :banginghead: :banginghead: :banginghead:

This dimwit does not know that I am already well aware that there are some East Indian Farmers in Guave Road (as T&T is a multi-cultural nation and has always been since the late 1800's) but the majority over 90% of the Guave Road Farmers are African who have been there for generations since the 1950's and some even before then so 15 years is nothing in comparison.

My conclusion that this current T&T government has been systematically racist against Africans still stands and it does not rest solely on this particular incident.

Now continue banging your head against the wall and maybe just maybe you might stir some of those dead brain cells of yours into action. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: This is what the racist PP government is doing to African farmers in Chaguaramas
Post by: Socapro on March 11, 2015, 02:35:22 PM
Live discussion going on right now on the Street featuring some of the Guave Road Farmers.
Click link to listen/view and to even get involved if you are that way inclined: http://www.thestreet919fm.com/
Title: ‘It’s illegal to sell Chaguaramas land’
Post by: Socapro on March 12, 2015, 08:54:46 AM
‘It’s illegal to sell Chaguaramas land’
Row over Convention Centre (http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/-Its-illegal-to-sell-Chaguaramas-land-295271321.html)
By Kim Boodram (T&T Express)
Story Created: Mar 5, 2015 at 9:14 PM ECT

(http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/Socapro/Chaguaramas%20Hotel%20and%20Convention%20Centre%20Western%20Main%20Road%20Chaguaramas.jpg) (http://s124.photobucket.com/user/Socapro/media/Chaguaramas%20Hotel%20and%20Convention%20Centre%20Western%20Main%20Road%20Chaguaramas.jpg.html)
Historical National Treasure - The Chaguaramas Convention Centre leased for 30 years (for $1 million per year) by the PP Government to one of their sponsors/private investors.

LAND in Chaguaramas cannot be bought or sold according to law, Planning Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie said yesterday.

This followed claims by Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley that the People’s Partnership Government had allowed the Chaguaramas Convention Centre to be disposed of.

Reports that the iconic centre had changed hands for a price, or been leased on the sly to a friend of the Government, took off yesterday after Rowley’s claims at a People’s National Meeting (PNM) cottage meeting in Marabella on Wednesday night.

Social media sites were bombarded yesterday with questions about the legitimacy of the claims and condemnation for the Government.

Tewarie said the “facts” must be kept in mind in instances such as these and, as it stood, land on the peninsula could only be “leased for a maximum of 30 years at a time”.

He said he was due to meet today with Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) chairman Danny Solomon for an update on the heavy development now taking place on the peninsula.

Government late last year opened phase two of its boardwalk project, with the CDA preparing for further development, with hotels, restaurants, a golf course and more recreation areas.

The CDA has also been accused by the Guave Road Farmers’ Association of illegally destroying their crops and of interfering with the integrity of Tucker Valley, a nature reserve, and of the wetlands across from the boardwalk.

They also claim some businesses and residents are being “bullied” off the land, which they said is to be taken up by friends of the Government.

The Farmers’ Association is today expected to march from the Chaguaramas Convention Centre to the Parliament Building, at the International Waterfront Centre on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, in protest against some of the CDA’s actions.

Also expected to march from 10 a.m. are a number of activists and the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ).

Rowley said on Wednesday he was prepared to march to protect the people’s patrimony—the eight acres on which the convention centre and hotel were built—but it was not clear whether the PNM would be part of today’s procession.

Tewarie said he was “at a loss” as to the persons who comprised the farmers’ group and the legitimacy of their claims to tenure of the land.

“I would be happy, if they can prove that they are bonafide farmers, to engage them and do what is right,” said Tewarie.
Title: Tucker Valley plans revealed
Post by: Socapro on March 12, 2015, 09:36:44 AM
This article gives some interesting history about the Guave Road farmers in Chaguaramas. Take a read folks.

Tucker Valley plans revealed (http://legacy.guardian.co.tt/archives/2007-07-01/news4.html)
By Yvonne Baboolal (T&T Guardian)
Sunday 1st july, 2007


Government plans to build beachfront houses, to a value of $400 million, on a triangle of land at Guave Road, Tucker Valley, in Chaguaramas, president of the Guave Road Farmers Association, Joseph Richardson said Friday.

Richardson said the Housing Development Corporation is using the same tactics in Bagatelle that it used on Chaguaramas farmers when they sought to move them off the land in 2005.

Government has ordered Bagatelle residents to vacate the area to make way for a sporting complex. Bagatelle residents have charged, however, that Government has a bigger project in mind for the area, including a major housing development.

Richardson said Guave Road farmers, once supporters of Housing Minister Dr Keith Rowley, their MP, have now become activists against the Government.

Houses for Guave Road

Recalling the Chaguaramas issue, he said a National Housing Authority (NHA), now the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) plan, dated February 5, 2006 revealed a “conceptual layout” for a multi-family housing project in Guave Road.

The plan was submitted to the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) last year for a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC).

Its shows the development of over 40 acres of land in Chaguaramas, bordered by Guave Road, referred to as Tucker Valley Road in the plan, Macqueripe and the Western Main Road.

The housing project will comprise townhouses and single family units. The NHA plan also shows a nursery school, an area for community use and open spaces.

Noel Garcia, managing director of the HDC, was appointed chairman of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) in early 2006.

On October 6 last year, the HDC held a public consultation with Guave Road farmers at the Carenage Community Complex on its housing plan for the area.

HDC’s Michelle Mischier-Boyd told the farmers of a critical housing shortage in T&T and that the Government had embarked on a housing programme unmatched in the hemisphere.

Paul Thompson of Conrad Douglas and Associates, project manager for the Chaguaramas development, said the EMA wanted an Environmental Impact Assessment done before it could issue a certificate for the project to proceed.

Thompson said the HDC had applied for a CEC on June 13, 2005.

But Richardson said environmentalists and even former CDA manager, Ian Gianetti, who was present, openly expressed their objection to the housing plan.

They cited increased traffic, a water shortage, environmental issues and duress to farmers as some of the reasons.

Richardson claimed that last year there was an attempt to burn the hills of Tucker Valley during the dry season to allegedly clear the land. But he said the rain saved the day and the fire did not spread very far.

The area, deemed environmentally sensitive wetlands, has been cultivated by 71 farmers since 1951, most of whom come from Carenage, L’Anse Mitan, Diego Martin, Point Cumana and Laventille.

A notice appeared in the newspapers in 2005 from the CDA ordering farmers off the land within 21 days for the construction of a sporting facility.

Richardson said, however, they later discovered that the Ministry of Housing was really behind the notice and there were plans for a major housing development in the area.

“Just like Bagatelle,” he noted.

He said farmers were maintaining their stance that they were not moving from the area.

He said in March last year, Housing Minister Dr Keith Rowley met with the farmers during a walkabout in the area.

“Just like Bagatelle, he promised that they would look at relocating us in an area further down Chaguaramas but nobody took him on.”

“Just a little six months again and Rowley will be out,” he speculated.

Richardson, in his 40s now, said he began planting the land with his mother at age 12. He and his 19-year-old son now cultivate four acres in Guave Road.

“This year we have mostly ochroes and pumpkin,” he said.

Richardson said Guave Road farmers sell their vegetables at the lowest price because they don’t have to put out any money for irrigation.

“We plant the wetlands in the dry season and there’s water all the time.

“When everybody else is selling ochroes at four for $1 we sell it at 50 for $10.”

His farmers sell the produce within their communities and to supermarkets.

Clyde Nicholas, in his 80s, boasts of being the first farmer in Guave Road. He said he has been planting food crops in the area for 50 years.

Not for sale

At a farmers’ meeting at the Carenage Recreation Ground last year, Nicholas said he always voted for Rowley but that the Minister was “now overplaying his authority.”

“You could see the arrogance,” he said.“Now they want to throw you out to build houses.”

Another Guave Road farmer, David St Clair, during a farmers’ forum at the Learning Resource Centre in Couva in July last year, called on Agriculture Minister Jarette Narine to step down.

St Clair objected to the HDC’s plans to use “grade A” agricultural lands for housing.

“While I agree that we need housing, we can’t eat bricks. We need food to sustain us. The matter is very simple. It’s a political problem,” he said.

Richardson recalled that in 1999 under the UNC government, a tripartite committee, comprising the CDA, the Agriculture Ministry and the farmers was set up to look into the agricultural aspect of the matter.

“The land was surveyed and plotted out and all the farmers were allocated designated plots.

“We were in the process of being regularised but we never really looked for certificates of comfort because we knew that we could never own the land,” the farmer said.

Tracing the history of the land, he said it once belonged to the Huggins family who had bought it from the Tuckers, who were plantation owners.

Richardson said his mother, Nelcia Richardson, and other Carenage residents, cultivated parcels of land but when World War II started, they were forced to abandon the gardens when the land was leased to the Americans.

“The American soldiers used to buy vegetables from the farmers’ shed in Chaguaramas,” he recalled.

“The soldiers eventually allowed the farmers to go back to their gardens but some of them used to be so scared, they used to pass over the hill from Carenage to get to the land.”

Richardson said in 1976, the Government got back Chaguaramas from the Americans and the CDA was established to govern the area with its own laws and security.

“Dr Eric Williams, PNM prime minister at the time, received Chaguaramas on behalf of the people of T&T. This meant the land there could not be sold. It was for all to enjoy and none to own.

“That’s why the CDA made it into a national park.”

He questioned the legality of the Housing Ministry’s plans for the area.

“When they build houses, are they going to give people leases for the land. Will the people never be able to own them?” he asked.
Title: Farmers on Chaguaramas development project: Eco-disaster in the making
Post by: Socapro on March 12, 2015, 10:11:23 AM
This article gives some interesting history about the Guave Road farmers in Chaguaramas. Take a read folks.

Eco-disaster in the making
Farmers on Chaguaramas development project (http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-01-04/eco-disaster-making)
By Charles Kong Soo (T&T Guardian)
Published: Sunday, January 4, 2015

(http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/Socapro/Guave%20Road%20farmer%20protests%20the%20destruction%20of%20crops%20by%20the%20CDA.png) (http://s124.photobucket.com/user/Socapro/media/Guave%20Road%20farmer%20protests%20the%20destruction%20of%20crops%20by%20the%20CDA.png.html)
A Guave Road farmer protests the destruction of crops by the CDA during a demonstration last year.

Guave Road farmers are calling on Planning Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie and the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) to reveal to the public the real scope of phase two of the Chaguaramas Development Project. President of the Guave Road Farmers Association, Joseph Richardson, is making the call on behalf of his members, who claim that the land area scheduled for development is much bigger than what the public is being told.
 
Speaking with the Sunday Guardian on Wednesday, Richardson said, “What the CDA didn’t mention or include in the CEC (certificate of environmental clearance) they received from the EMA (Environmental Management Authority) was the 100 acres of Wetlands 55.
 
“They claim that Wetlands 55 is just the Cuesa River only, which is 40 feet across, but the wetlands extend over 800 metres from the Cuesa River heading east to the Guave Road entrance on the Western Main Road and they’re shielding that from the public. “If it was mentioned that so many acres of vital ecosystems of mangroves and prime agricultural land would be destroyed for housing and recreational development, work could not have started on the project.”
 
He added, “Most people don’t know that mangrove forests provide protection against beach erosion, storms, tsunamis and floods. “The tsunami that hit Asia in 2005, there were no deaths in areas where there were mangrove forests compared to those areas without coverage that suffered massive casualties.”
 
In advancing his argument, Richardson said there were two sluice gates built by the US soldiers during World War II at the road next to the Chaguaramas Boardwalk that were now covered with large rocks and plants. He said the sluice gates’ purpose was to drain the wetlands, which was a catchment area that collected water during the rainy season.
 
He said when the water reached a certain level, like three feet, it was gradually released into the sea and the sluice gates were so designed that water from the wetlands could go out but seawater could not enter. He said if the sluice gates were covered with concrete and the wetlands filled to begin housing development, not only would the wetlands, beachfront and major parts of the peninsula be flooded, but traffic chaos would ensue and families would be displaced.
 
“It will be like the Red Bull Flugtag 2011 traffic nightmare every day in Chaguaramas,” he said. Richardson said the farmers believed the CDA was catering to the elite and to foreigners. He said the CDA wanted access to the entire front of Tucker Valley for its grand plan, which entailed creating an exclusive area for the business elite. This included restaurants, resorts jutting out of the Boardwalk, cable cars in the air, a game park, water park and a golf course, he said.
 
He pointed out that the CDA was very clever in its operations, doing the project in incremental stages—phase one was the Boardwalk to please the “common people” followed by its extension and the mega development projects for the super rich. Richardson claimed a jetty scheduled for construction not too far off from the Alcoa jetty was in reality a windbreaker for the yachts the CDA wanted to cater for inside the Carenage basin.
 
Tewarie: Concerns weighed in plans
Planning Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie says the concerns of the farmers, residents and special interest groups had been taken into consideration and the current construction work being done in the peninsula would ease the congestion in the long run.
 
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian, Tewarie said, “Ironically, the question posed addresses precisely why the Guave Extension Road project was envisaged in the first place, that is, to reduce traffic congestion and make for a safer, easier access into and out of Chaguaramas.
 
“But access to and from Chaguaramas will continue to be a problem until we build an alternative route and this is what we’re considering now. But it can only get to the consultation and possibly design stage this year. The actual road to and from Chaguaramas will be a second-term project.”
 
He added, “The CDA has conducted a careful development plan for the peninsula that considers so many needs, the meticulous preservation of the natural environment, the allocation of the best areas for agricultural purposes, the optimisation of road networks, the people-centred development of the community, the creation of thousands of jobs, the execution of world-class recreational facilities and the ideal of making Chaguaramas an area of opportunity for all.”
 
Tewarie said he met with consultants recently and gave his input and he was satisfied they would have a people-centred plan for the sustainable development of Chaguaramas very soon. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar opened phase two of the boardwalk project at Chaguaramas on December 18, while a group of Guave Road farmers protested a short distance away on the Carenage Main Road.
 
She said phase two would entail an extended boardwalk, activity pond and food court. Work to develop Chaguaramas to its full potential would continue with the CDA’s plans, she said, which included world-class marinas, hotels, waterfront restaurants, an amusement park and a golf course resort.
 
The PM said several upgrades were also scheduled, such as the Chaguaramas Hotel and Convention Centre, a golf course to meet international standards, Chagville Beach rehabilitation and the reafforestation of hills and green spaces.
 
She said the objections to the project did not matter, as plans for Chaguaramas would bring the peninsula back to the people. The PM said the Government was aware of the traffic woes in Chaguaramas and “novel” access points were included in the plans.
 
De Verteuil: Brace for traffic, flooding
With the onset of the new year, upcoming Carnival activities, coupled with development works at Guave Road, Tucker Valley, mean residents and visitors alike should brace for traffic gridlock in the northwest peninsula. This is the view of Marc de Verteuil, a director of the Papa Bois Conservation group.
 
Speaking with the Sunday Guardian at Guave Road, while construction work was going on, De Verteuil said the CDA’s intent was to build a 6.75 acre car park, farmers’ market and tramway. Construction of all this infrastructure, he said, was a logistical transport nightmare in the making. He said Chaguaramas already suffered from daily traffic jams that could take an hour or more to navigate and there was no transport or infrastructure capacity to allow for additional people entering the peninsula.
 
De Verteuil said 21st-century mass transport was needed to fulfil Chaguaramas’ transit needs. He said flooding could also compound traffic problems in the area.
 
Just last month, the CDA issued an apology for the traffic congestion due to the infrastructural drainage and water works being carried out in Chaguaramas to alleviate flooding that had become commonplace.
 
He said the CDA’s plan included the repaving and expansion of roads, construction of a bicycle path, a tramway, a farmers’ market and a “frighteningly massive” 27,300-square-metre car park, approximately 6.75 acres, which would destroy the ambiance of the area. He said for all intents and purposes, Guave Road was a part of Tucker Valley, an area rich in biodiversity and of huge importance for recreation.
 
De Verteuil said this was simply the wrong kind of development for this particular location. He said Tucker Valley—where there wre red howler monkeys and ocelots, among a plethora of other animals—was turning into a suburban park for Port-of-Spain. He said the area was part of the World War II naval base and represented a wild area close to the capital city of T&T.
 
Tucker Valley unique
De Verteuil said Tucker Valley was unique and irreplaceable, as well as popular, because it was natural and easily accessible. He said it was a major part of what made Chaguaramas a popular recreation area and Guave Road was the first phase of a creeping development into Tucker Valley. He said he was not opposed to sustainable development, but the planned project was not the ecotourism that was required but rather was a zoning mistake of the first order.
 
De Verteuil said there was enough unused land in Chaguaramas outside of Tucker Valley where low-impact high-rise car parks could be built. He said Tucker Valley should be declared a national park in order to protect it. Many people falsely believed that development was not allowed in Tucker Valley, he said, but there was no legislation to prevent it.
 
He said he was inviting concerned citizens and users of Chaguaramas to form an independent lobby group so that all stakeholders would be adequately represented. De Verteuil can be contacted by e-mail at: marc@papaboisconservation.org

The Sunday Guardian’s queries regarding the concerns of Chaguaramas residents, farmers and environmentalists were also sent to the CDA and the EMA which did not respond.
Title: CDA Board member axed over Facebook posting
Post by: Socapro on March 17, 2015, 09:09:33 PM
This story is related to why the Guave Road farmers are being victimized and chased off their farm land.

CDA Board member axed over Facebook posting (http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/CDA-Board-member-axed-over-Facebook-posting-296616231.html)
By the Multimedia Desk (T&T Express)
Story Created: Mar 5, 2015 at 9:14 PM ECT

(http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/Socapro/Jaishima%20Leladharsingh%2001.jpg) (http://s124.photobucket.com/user/Socapro/media/Jaishima%20Leladharsingh%2001.jpg.html)
Jaishima Leladharsingh, CDA Board Member, forced to resign for racist remarks.

MEMBER of the Board of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) Jaishima Leladharsingh has resigned with immediate effect, after being called upon to do so by the Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, Bhoe Tewarie.The resignation was disclosed in a press statement issued by the ministry on Tuesday. Leladharsingh was axed as a result of comments he made in Facebook postings that date to April 2014. The following is the the statement issued by Tewarie -

Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, Senator Dr. the Honourable Bhoendradatt Tewarie has called for and has received the resignation of Mr. Jaishima Leladharsingh from the Board of the Chaguaramas Development Authority with immediate effect.

Over what can only be described as objectionable and reprehensible statements made on a social media platform, the Minister takes the position that such behavior is unacceptable in a civilized, multi-ethnic society such as ours, and this action is meant to make the point that divisive statements such as these will not be tolerated under any circumstances regardless of situation.

The Minister emphasizes that Trinidad & Tobago is a model of plurality and racial harmony for the entire world to see and emulate, and calls on all the people of this nation to reject at every turn any any attempt to divide us, especially through race and religion.

Senator Dr. the Honourable
Bhoendradatt Tewarie