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Tuesday 17 July 2018
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Where are the voices of these communities?

THE EDITOR: Do the leaders of the La Brea Village Council and other groups from Sobo and environs expect us citizens to be convinced of their support for the Alutrint Smelter Plant? They have advanced as their argument the decline of industrialisation after 40 years and the impact such as mass poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment in La Brea and environs. What have they been doing after all these years but drowning in their compromising silence? What advocacy for renewed development have they championed before the advent of Alutrint, and why is it that they have now awakened to the smell of smelter?

It is very pathetic that after 45 years of Independence as a nation, for citizens and groups to believe that we must rely solely on foreign entities to develop our communities and provide basic amenities and services. For billions of dollars in revenue have been generated from the asphalt at the Pitch Lake throughout the years, and this commodity is managed by a local company (Lake Asphalt Trinidad and Tobago). The asphalt alone at La Brea can sustain that community and environs for generations what with its many downstream products. What percentage of the labour force at LABDICO comes from La Brea? Where is the true voice of these communities? No amount of football sponsorships, free tee shirts, full page advertising, maxi taxi caravans and political coercion can intimidate the real residents who are in favour of sustainable development as a right. These residents are demanding that consultations be held urgently with various State agencies to establish a blueprint for the community’s structural development, beyond the limitations of a smelter. New communities are being established a la UDECOTT and HDC but where is La Brea/Sobo/Rousillac in the matrix?

DAVID LAW

Former resident of Union Village La Brea

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