Gonzales: TT democracy under assault

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Gonzales: TT democracy under assault

MP for Lopinot/Bon Air West, Marvin Gonzales has expressed “absolute horror” at the conduct of the UNC MP’s and Senators last Thursday in the extraordinary sitting of Parliament.

In a release on Sunday, Gonzales said “Their relentless attempts to scandalize high office holders and democratic institutions overrode any semblance of decency we hope they still possess.”

He said “the conduct of colleagues opposite on that fateful day was bizarre, shameful and disgusting to witness. The disrespect shown to the Speaker, the Parliamentary staff, Independent Senators and even government members, reduced our sacred Parliament to shame and scandal and this was played out live for citizens and the world to see. As me and my PNM colleagues gazed on in shock at the theatre of the absurd, it solidified my belief that the UNC under Kamla Persad Bissessar is now an official extremist political organisation employing extremist political tactics such as those used by a former US President to gain power and hold on to power. The inmates are running the UNC asylum.

Gonzales added “Their sole responsibility is to attack, denigrate and ridicule national leaders and high office holders, to destroy democratic institutions and those they have marked as their political enemies. Nothing is off-limits for them. Sacred traditions and conventions are trampled upon and the lines of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour have become blurred. This was the same role played recently by Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and George Papadopolous in the American political system especially in the MAGA era.

He said “Grooming the minds of their supporters to see themselves as “victims” is part of the strategy and keeping them in an echo chamber of conspiracy theories is paramount to their plan. In order for them to be successful in their cause to wrest political power by causing chaos and confusion, their supporters must believe that our democratic system and tradition is a farce designed to deny them of their rightful “inheritance”. Attacking the Elections and Boundaries Commission and the outcome of legitimate elections, denigrating the Presidency, desecrating the Parliament and demeaning public officials is all part of the stratagem, lifted shamelessly out of the Trumpian playbook. Persons will recall the January 6th, 2020 invasion of the seat of American democracy, where supporters chanted racist and other remarks as they executed their diabolical plan of national chaos. This was the same playbook adopted by the Nazis in Germany in order to gain power. The cancer has now spread to the body politic of the Trinidad and Tobago political system.

He further wrote: On Thursday 21st, October, 2021, the Red House, seat of Trinidad and Tobago’s democracy, was the epicentre of that version of political extremism by a marauding, disrespectful, and extremist opposition party whose agenda is clear – cause national chaos, attack every office holder in the country and play the victims. Nothing is off limits to them as they have now promised “an October revolution” as another phase in their campaign is being unfolded. Scenes of a sitting Member of Parliament actively coordinating an illegal protest in Barrackpore in the presence of police officers is part of the strategy and more of that is expected in Opposition Constituencies. Like the US insurgents, The UNC has adopted slogans like ‘death to democracy”, “dictatorship” etc to pretend to be the “defenders of our democracy” and have now signalled their intention to go after the Speaker and the Honourable Prime Minister. The nation must awake from its slumber as our democracy is threatened by those who are playing victims.

As a PNM Member of Parliament, sworn to uphold the Constitution and the Law, I am duty-bound
to join in the fight in the great battle to save our beautiful republic as the PNM has steadfastly done for more than six decades. I urge every right-thinking citizen to join with the PNM in rejecting this anarchy, and to stand up as we have always done, for truth, honesty and justice. The promised “October revolution” by Kamla and her circle of evil will be crushed with our armour of truth, justice, decency and national patriotism.