Our party was created to represent elements of the labour movement, the working poor and the forgotten vulnerable men, women and children of our country.
It is poetic that the UNC was born in the mud of Aranguez to represent the hundreds of thousands whose bare hands toiled in the mud of the rice fields, the cane fields and the oilfields.
This is a fact that we should be proud of and never forget where we came from.
Those who experienced the years of toil, tears and discrimination may appreciate how far we have come as a party. Moving forward, we welcome a new generation of members and leaders who will face challenges and adversity. It is my goal to empower the next generation to build a solid platform for the future.
Judge us by our performance
When you look at the record of the last 30 years, you will see that it is always under a UNC government that all of Trinidad and Tobago progresses.
Whether it is jobs, healthcare, education, Agriculture, the fight against crime, housing, the oil sector, the gas sector, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructural development – everything that affects the everyday lives of the people of the country has been made better thanks to our party!
To the young people
One of the first decisions we took was to give a laptop computer to every child to prepare them to operate in the digital era.
The moment the present administration came into office they abandoned the program. These people have no vision whatsoever. They are totally useless.
Our country is facing a crisis. The world is changing and we cannot do the same things the same way. We have accepted the fact that our young people are super smart and learn more, just on their smart phones in one year, than their grandparents learnt in a lifetime.
Digital innovation and implementation Team
I have established a digital innovation and implementation team to prepare for our return to government.
I have given them a priority listing of issues I would like them to address and challenged them to develop implementable policies to address the growing gulf between our current education system and that of digital age technologies.
Believe me, when you empower and challenge young people you would be amazed at what they come up with. Over the coming months I will be revealing to you their recommendations on a wide range of issues, including education, crime fighting, job creation and diversification and health care.
So, as you can see, we have not been twiddling our thumbs like the present administration.
Instead, we are spending our time developing plans and devising strategies to ensure that when get back into office, we will hit the ground running to get T&T working again…
Unemployed university graduates
Today I wish to speak directly to the thousands of university graduates who are either unemployed, underemployed or have given up searching for well-paying jobs.
I want you to know that I feel your pain.
You did everything right. You played by the rules. You burned the mid night oil. You were told study hard and you will have a bright future.
Not under this Rowley PNM. They have failed you.
So, you are now on the verge of giving up. You feel you are a burden on your parents. And your time spent in school was wasted. Don’t give up. Do not give up.
I promise you today that we will make, as our first priority, the creation of 50,000 well-paying jobs. We did it before. We will do it again.
You have a choice. You can vote PNM and continue to suffer. You can sit on the fence and allow the PNM to snatch victory despite their despicable disregard of your interests.
Or you can vote UNC and hold us to our promise. As it stands you have everything to gain by voting for my party.
You are too educated to be fooled once again by the PNM.
Rise up and take your future in your hands.
And do so with your vote.
TO PETROTRIN WORKERS
How can you sit idly by and allow this government to send 10,000 of you home and you are still of the view that you will not vote against that callous act
Your company in its final year made over TT $1.7 billion in profits contrary to this government’s lies that Petrotrin was an albatross losing money
Instead of you benefitting from profit sharing agreements; you were fired.
I call on this government to stop the sale of the Petrotrin refinery and call elections now!!
Petrotrin belongs to the people of our country. I promise that in any decision which my government takes regarding our energy sector; the interests of our country, our citizens and our oil workers will take precedence. I give you my word.
But my request today to all 10,000 Petrotrin workers and their friends and families is: YOU MUST HELP ME TO HELP YOU. I can only hope that good sense will prevail.
TO Small Businessmen
The time has come for you to understand who is your friend and who is not your friend.
And this useless government is not the friend of small businesses. They are an elitist party.
You now know that you are not immune to PNM vindictiveness, spite and incompetence.
You are now taxed using every imaginable creative device.
My government will be committed to a development of all sectors of the economy with small businesses being a priority.
It is no longer time to sit on the fence. Your survival depends on our country moving away from this government.
But in a democracy the choice is yours.
I can only advise that you vote in your own interest. I can only say to all: Let those with eyes to see, see. And those with ears to hear, hear
Social equity is not about taking from one group to give to another.
Governments should not engage in arbitrarily redistributing wealth.
Governments should engage in creating equality of opportunities by creating a level playing field for all.
Yes, we agree there is income inequality, but this is rooted in unfair systemic practices within the state structure which stifles opportunities available to citizens.
Unity is strength
The wealth of the country is again being concentrated in the hands of a few elite friends, family and financiers of the government.
Yet when this government is faced with criticism, citizens are constantly being intimidated and threatened with archaic sedition and treason laws by this government.
This government which has achieved nothing in four years has again reverted to the old pre independence colonial tactics of race baiting and terrorism of citizens using outdated laws to distract from the real issues affecting the declining quality of citizens’ lives.
The economy is stagnant, unemployment is rising with over 50,000 jobs already lost, crime and gang activity is at an all-time high as we have had over 171 murders this year.
We have a cabinet gifting a 23-million-dollar rental contract without any public tendering to the AG and a Prime Minister who goes on television and publicly lies to the country of being in cabinet when it was done.
We have 100 million dollars gifted to the Prime minister’s friend for fake oil without any explanation as to what recourse is being taken.
We have a Minister of Works who has presided over the Seabridge scandal where we now pay almost 200,000 dollars more per day as compared to 2015.
We have over 50,000 job losses in less than four years and more unemployment to come.
Yet these issues carry no priority for a Government who seems to only know how to campaign on the lowest issues of blame, race baiting, division and discord.
That is their platform, as political meeting after meeting with no achievements to speak of, they constantly bombard the airwaves with hypocrisy, race baiting and divisive statements.
We are about plans, policies, projects and improving the lives of all our citizens. I urge citizens to focus on what matters most to you!
The UNC condemns any use of divisiveness. Strength is in unity. We live together as sisters and brothers, or perish as fools.
Respect is strength
I urge UNC Supporters to engage citizens who may have different opinions with respect, dignity and humility.
In our five years in office we had outstanding performance, delivery and achievements.
We also made some errors and we must acknowledge that with humility and raise our hands and say sorry.
Constructive criticism from others is not to be viewed as an affront but rather we should listen, learn and implement productive measures derived from such conversations.
Forget the insults, innuendo and weaponization of divisive issues.
We must use cogent, persuasive, factual arguments to put our points forward. Our argument is against the elitist Rowley government. It is against the elitist friends, family and financiers behind the Rowley government.
It is not against the PNM supporters and voters; they are suffering just as everyone else. They are our neighbours, friends and co-workers.
Treat them with respect, dignity and humility and show them there is a place for them in our party.
We have always been a party of the working people, who, through sheer will, tenacity and hard work strive to improve their lives and our country.
The people of this country are under serious political oppression and are subjected to severe economic stress.
The people of this country, Keith Rowley, will remember you as the man who called himself the great sales man for TT but who instead sold the people out and sold out Trinidad and Tobago.
They will remember you as the Prime Minister who asked them to learn to peel cassava and almost succeeded in selling Tobago before dessert at a private dinner.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago will remember that they gave you a chance but you were never concerned enough to give them a fighting chance.
They will remember that they gave you respect but that you and your Ministers only showed them contempt and arrogance and that you declared war on every one — journalist, commentator, university lecturer, political adversary , independent citizens, unleashing venom and scorn on all who would not agree that the bull full when the government pronounced it to be so.
Yours has been the worst, most consistently incompetent, callous and useless government in the entire history of our country.
Today I place our party in election mode. We have completed LGE nomination process with over 400 persons having filed nominations. We will begin screening in May.
I want to give Rowley a warning that we know what is going on and what he and his party are planning for elections.
And I want to give him the assurance that we have no intention of allowing him and his cronies to rig the election now and use the campaign period as a theatrical show and then relegate election day as a sham activity to legitimize electoral democracy in Trinidad and Tobago.
We in the UNC are not making joke on this matter.
We will not allow our electoral system to be subverted by political interference nor will we allow democracy in our beloved country Trinidad and Tobago to be hijacked by political pirates posing as an authoritarian government.
UNC back to Court
Our lawyers have returned to court on the 2015 election petitions to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the ground of bias and unfairness.
The application urges the court to re-open proceedings as the final arbiter of the electoral petitions- which are of pivotal and political importance to determine a complaint of bias.
Happy 30th Anniversary
This is our time to lead by example and to honour our founding fathers and our first Leader, Basdeo Panday and all those who have laboured over the last 30 years on behalf of our party.
We recommit to helping all our citizens realize their dreams of better more prosperous and happy lives.
Together we must build a nation proud of its diversity, with respect and love for all. God bless our great party on our 30th anniversary and god bless Trinidad and Tobago.
You have had other leaders before me and you will have other leaders after me; but you will never have another leader who loves you as much as I love you.
Thank you, God bless you.
Show me your voting finger. With this finger you can put a government in office and with this finger you can vote a government out of office.
Show me your voting finger!!