Rambally: Why ‘Trinidad is Not a Real Place’

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By Prior Beharry

WHEN people say that Trinidad is not a real place they are using irony to describe the absurdity of a situation.

This was the explanation given by United National Congress MP Dinesh Rambally during a private motion on crime in the House of Representatives on Friday.

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He said, “… when people say that Trinidad is not a real place, they do not mean that literally. They also are not being unpatriotic.”

Rambally added, “Rather, they are utilising irony to describe the almost surreal absurdity of a situation.

“Every single well-known artist in Trinidad and Tobago from Derek Walcott to VS Naipaul to the great calypsonian Lord Invader have utilised expressions of irony and sarcasm to describe life in Trinidad and Tobago.

“It is picong! That is what Kaiso is famous for. But we know if it’s one thing this thin-skinned Government is famous for is that they can’t take picong-or criticism, or scrutiny of any kind.”

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He said recently Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that people who used the phrase “Trinidad is not a real place” should go to the Ukraine.

Rambally said Trinidad and Tobago has a higher murder rate than the Ukraine.

He cited the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Study on Homicide, which stated that the murder rate in Trinidad and Tobago in 2020 was 28.2 per 100,000 population while in Ukraine it was 5.5 per 100,000 population.

Rambally added, “Therefore, in 2020, Trinidad and Tobago had a significantly higher murder rate than Ukraine.”

He said many citizens may very well want to go to the Ukraine because feel that T&T was a war zone.

The attorney made a number of references as to why people say Trinidad is not a real place:

  • When Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds said during a television interview it was not his job to make citizens feel safe;
  • When Hinds said that school children who were cowering under their desks because two gangs were shooting at each other 200 feet away were overreacting;
  • When the national security minister goes feting on Carnival day  – a day that needs careful planning an attention by the security forces; and
  • When the national security minister can say that 2023 had a safe Carnival despite nine murders, multiple robbers, the shooting of a tourist, and various car jackings.

The motion brought by Barataria/San Juan MP last year November to condemn the Government for its failure to address the serious crime level.


Rambally said, “Personally, Madam Speaker, I think that Trinidad and Tobago is real place, unfortunately  the problem we face is that those on that side is not a real government.”

He said all citizens fear crime.



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