Paria Widow Seeks Change with UNC

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‘I have no regrets. Nobody forced me to do it. I am doing this for my children.” – Vanessa Kussie UNC candidate for Couva West/Roystonia’ – Vanessa Kussie

By Sue-Ann Wayow

ALTHOUGH it was a tragedy she wished she did not have to endure, Vanessa Kussie used her husband’s death as a catalyst for her wanting to become a public agent of change.

Kussie is the United National Congress (UNC) candidate for Couva West/Roystonia in the upcoming Local Government Election (LGE).

She told AZP News last week that she never envisioned herself walking across the political stage, pledging service and dedication to a party and citizens at the UNC’s presentation of candidates on Monday night.

Kussie’ husband Rishi Nagassar was one of the four divers who were sucked into a pipeline on February 25, 2022, at Paria Fuel Trading Company facilities at Berth 6 near Pointe-a-Pierre and whose body was retrieved days later.

Since then, Kussie’s life has never been the same but she has managed to overcome her deep depression with the love and support of family members and those in her community who visit her home every day.

Politics is not new to her as her uncle is Allan “Taxi” Seepersad, the UNC candidate for Felicity/Calcutta/Mcbean and a well-known personality in local government.

She said, “I have always been part of the political agenda. The UNC is not new to me as I have been affiliated with them for over 25 years doing background work, helping with catering and those things. I never thought though that I would be crossing that stage last night.”

Kussie said as a citizen whose husband’s fate was at the hands of a State-owned company and receiving no compassion from the government in the past 16 months, that was enough to propel her to want to become involved in politics on a different level.

“What we had to endure was very hard. Imagine waiting outside for hours on end and nobody would come to talk to us. It has been 16 months now and nobody from government even visited our homes to see how we have been living,” she said.

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Kussie told AZP News, “I have no regrets. Nobody forced me to do it. I am doing this for my children.”

Being involved in the upcoming election, she said she has found a renewed sense of hope and purpose.

Confident of a victory, she said she would be focusing on encouraging youths to be more productive and assisting with getting proper road infrastructure.


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