• 01 AUG 2018

Prime Minister’s Emancipation Message 2018

Fellow citizens, as we here in Trinidad and Tobago celebrate Emancipation Day, I take the opportunity to share with you a few of my thoughts surrounding our history as far as slavery is concerned.

Having come to these shores shackled and chained as slaves to work on the sugar plantations, our African ancestors endured great hardships. And yet when we review where we were back then to where we are now, we can indeed feel a sense of pride and indeed continue to strive for greatness whilst learning from our past.

Our ancestors demonstrated immense resilience in the face of what many may have viewed as insurmountable difficulties. It is my view that we should seek to emulate their resilience to overcome difficult times in similar manner to how our displaced ancestors survived even after enduring the harshest of conditions of inhumanity inflicted upon them by other human beings.

Today we the great, great grandchildren and our lineage have come a long way but must never become weak-kneed and accept standards and values that are detrimental to our national existence since no other act of cruelty and deprivation in human history comes close to resembling 400 years of brutal enslavement of African people between the West Coast of Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.

While this Emancipation celebration affords us an opportunity to reflect on the horrors of that era and on those who endured its pain, we must draw strength from our survival and growth as we aspire to greater progress, confident in our proven knowledge that we have what it takes to overcome whatever challenges we currently endure and those that may lay ahead once we accept responsibility to be the best that we can be and make the most of the God given resources, large or small, that are available to us.

On behalf of my family and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, I wish you all a safe and happy Emancipation Day 2018 and I pray that God continues to bless us individually and collectively as we continue to build our nation together.