On July 27, 1990, the Jamaat al Muslimeen instigated an attempted coup against the government of Trinidad and Tobago. Forty-two insurgents stormed the Parliament, our seat of democracy, taking Prime Minister A. N. R. Robinson and most of his cabinet hostage in the Red House.
Today the United National Congress (UNC) joins the nation in remembering the 27th anniversary of this attempted coup. This day lives in infamy in the minds and hearts of Trinidadians and Tobagonians, as the most direct attack on our institutions of democracy.
As we remember one of the darkest periods in our history, we must also take this opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the spirit of democracy. As citizens of this great nation, we must always strive to uphold the integrity of our Parliament and all the institutions of our society. It is important to remember that while attacks on our democracy may be direct and bloody like the 1990 attempted coup, there is also the possibility for silent sustained attacks meant to undermine the checks and balances of the system which are meant to protect and safeguard the people’s fundamental human rights and freedoms as citizens of this great Republic.
The UNC has always been a party committed to strengthening our Constitution and our democratic way of life. Many in our party have fought long and hard battles to give a voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless as well as to ensure that people are well represented. The founding principle of the Party is to put the people of Trinidad and Tobago first. Under the leadership of Mrs Kamla Persad- Bissessar and the active support of the Party ,the UNC has and continues to actively follow a people centered approach to development ensuring in the process that there was more equitable access to opportunities and that no citizen was left behind.
We remember all those who lost their lives and were adversely affected by the traumatic events of those dark days when our nation was under siege. The United National Congress stands in solidarity with our nation, holding steadfastly to the fact this kind of dastardly attack on our democratic order would never again happen in Trinidad and Tobago.