President Calls for National Observance for 1990

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

TUESDAY marks the 31st anniversary of the 1990 attempted Coup and President Paula-Mae Weekes will be laying a wreath in Parliament in memory of those who fought the fight.

In a statement from the President on Tuesday, she again called for a national observance for the event in which lives and livelihoods were lost as many young people have never fully understood nor appreciated the impact of those events on Trinidad and Tobago.


She reminded citizens of the attempt to overthrow government using armed force which unfolded on live television  resulting in 24 citizens dying, the destruction of the Parliament building and the scarring of many physically and psychologically.

Weekes said, “Thirty-one years have elapsed, but the painful memories of the dreadful events remain seared in the minds of those who were front row witnesses and casualties of one of the most brazen and senseless assaults in the history of our nation’s democracy.”

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In her repeated call for a  national observance, Weekes said, “ While wreath laying pays tribute to the dead, this dark chapter of our history merits a permanent memorial that would capture the horror and chaos of those six days with appropriate images, testimonials and historical information. Such a museum-quality display would reliably impart to present and future generations, the events, causes and consequences of the attempted coup d’état.”

The commemoration would also help to avoid the romanticization of those events and paint them for what they were—an unjustified and heinous grab for power which robbed the innocent of their lives, rights, peace, and livelihoods she added.

And Weekes said, “The distressing and brutal scenes of July 27, 1990 undermined the very foundations of our country’s democracy and sense of sovereignty. Lest we forget, difficult conversations must take place and necessary steps be taken to ensure that we never again suffer such an egregious and audacious violation of our national security and freedoms.”

Among those who died were  Member of Parliament for Diego Martin Central Leo des Vignes,  SRP Solomon McLeod, ASP Roger George, Estate Constable Malcolm Basanta, George Francis, Arthur Guiseppi, Helen Lavia, Lorraine Caballero and Mervyn Teague.


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