Jarrel De Matas

Once again, The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is back. For five days the city of Port of Spain will be transformed into a literary smorgasbord of social, cultural, and historical events which offer unique insights into the creative talent of local, regional and international writers. The National Library and Information System Authority (Nalis) is the main venue of this showcase, a fitting host to an event that is committed to preserving the literary experience of the region. My focus of this article however, is not the local appeal of the Bocas Lit Fest but rather its potential appeal beyond the borders of Trinidad and Tobago.

Touted as “the first major literary festival held in Trinidad and Tobago and the southern Caribbean” the Bocas Lit Fest is something akin to a “cruise ship” experience; it is short and sweet, the activities are countless, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, signature apparel is available (as well as books of course), and you’re guaranteed to see a celebrity. It is not by chance my reference to the Bocas Lit Fest as a cruise ship experience because like our cruise ship industry, the Bocas Lit Fest is a potential product that can be used to promote tourist arrivals to our country.


TODAY is the day to set the culture of the new normal based on the mantra of masking, hand-washing and social distancing.

The mistake we need to guard against is thinking that life is back to normal with the reopening of the retail sector and resumption of non-essential Government operations. It is not. Indeed, the risk is now heightened as employees return to group activity in enclosed air-conditioned spaces while the public return to their favourite retail haunts for purchases denied over ten long weeks.

The following is a lightly edited version of the opening remarks at press conference on the UN high-level event on financing for development in the era of Covid-19 and beyond, on Thursday

WE all slip. In my case, luckily there was someone there to catch me.

I had been driving alone, windows firmly pressed down; in nerd gear, the volume was up on the flamenco and buleria tunes of the bilingual Spaniard Pitingo.

THIS NEWSPAPER isn’t enamoured of Dave Cameron. In fact, we felt that he had long overstayed his time when, 14 months ago, he lost the presidency of Cricket West Indies (CWI) to Ricky Skerritt, after six years in the post. Mr Cameron was too arrogant by half.

AS a citizen of the world, I am deeply troubled by events currently unfolding in America, subsequent to the unlawful killing of George Floyd.

After an excellent update and pointing the way forward on the gradual re-opening of the country on Saturday, the Prime Minister concluded with the rather unfortunate affirmation, “It is not voodoo; it is science.” I gasped. I couldn’t imagine that after the shameless display of Trini xenophobia against Haitian survivors of the destructive earthquake of 2010 that our leaders would remain in such a state of cultural backwardness.