My fellow citizens,
As we enter this season of goodwill, peace and joy, it is my hope that we can all work together toward our shared goal of transforming our country.
Christmas, a holy occasion for members of the Christian faith, has come to be embraced by people from other religions and cultural backgrounds. Many of us look forward to spending time with our loved ones, exchanging gifts, and of course, no Trini Christmas would be complete without delicious food.
In the midst of the mirth and elation we often feel at this time of year, however, a shadow hangs over our nation.
There is no doubt that 2019 has been a year of challenges. Four years of rule by an administration that has no ability to govern have taken a toll. Our economy is in crisis. Criminals continue to strike fear in the hearts of citizens. People are suffering because of an inadequate healthcare system, and thousands are without jobs, without hope.
But I believe in the citizens of our great nation. We have weathered worse than this and I believe that with the right leadership, and through a concerted effort by all of us, we can overcome the challenges that we face.
This Christmas, even as you partake of our famous “black cake” and drink sorrel, please spare a thought for the less fortunate amongst us. Several thousand families in South Trinidad, forgotten by this government, are still trying to return to some sense of normalcy after being devastated by flooding. For them, and for the thousands who lost their jobs, the families of crime victims, there is little to feel joyful about. I urge you to take a moment and share a kind word with your neighbour or engage in some small act of charity to bring relief to someone in need.
Let us keep the teachings of Jesus Christ in our hearts and commit to being kind, compassionate and loving in 2020. We have seen compassion being demonstrated during the recent flood disaster in South Trinidad. In visiting affected communities in my own constituency to offer relief, I saw the extent of the devastation, but also saw the heroic efforts of people who stepped forward to provide hot meals to flood victims, to rescue families trapped in their homes, and also to help with cleanup efforts.
This is the true spirit of our people.
Let us also not forget the symbol that the birth of Jesus embodies; hope. As long as we believe we can make a difference, we can steer our nation onto a better course. This may be a dark Christmas for many in Trinidad and Tobago, but remember, it is always darkest before the dawn. And it won’t be long before the dawn of a new day is upon us.
My fellow citizens, let us not move into a new decade with issues, pains, suffering – there is hope for a brighter future for our nation and the party I lead, the United National Congress has a vision and plan to get us there.
We have been working throughout the country, meeting with you and hearing about your fears and your concerns. I have felt your pain, I have learned about your hopes and I know you are ready to return our country to greatness and to build a stronger, more prosperous future for the generations to come.
Once again, I invite all citizens to join us as we prepare to return good governance to Trinidad and Tobago. Let us, together, get T&T working again.
It is our hope that citizens enjoy a peaceful and joyful Christmas with family, friends and loved ones, and that the New Year brings even greater opportunities.
May God continue to bless each of you and may God continue to bless our very great nation, Trinidad and Tobago.
The Hon Kamla Persad Bissessar, MP, SC