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Forgetting 1990

Published: 
Saturday, August 2, 2014

Paolo kernahan

Torn between the cavalcade of Life Sport revelations and the shockingly diminished proportions of Carnival 2015 costumes/Band-Aids, Trinidadians scarcely have enough brain-space to contemplate the anniversary of the 1990 attempted coup. 

This epochal smear on our nation’s history whispered by with little recognition. Not that there have been stirring attempts in the past to give meaning to this tragic and terrifying occurrence. 

This year however bore the distinct feel that as a people, our national amnesia is complete. 1990 will reverberate no more, generations in waiting won’t believe the stories if told, given how dull of passions we are, at least for anything other than carnival costume debates. 

In the still-smouldering days after the insurrectionists were detained and restrictions eased in the capital city, I drove through the ruins of Port-of-Spain. More than mere buildings gutted by fire and cleared out by looters, the destruction stretched far beyond the physical. As I pondered the lost lives and livelihoods, the wanton destruction and ensuing chaos I knew then that the country would never be the same. It pains me to accept that on the day this opinion was formed in our wounded inner-city, I was both right and wrong.