Lest We Forget
Tomorrow, July 27th, marks the 31st anniversary of an event that rattled the lives of every single citizen in Trinidad and Tobago and changed the course of the country’s history forever.
The year was 1990 and the day of the week was Friday. Then Prime Minister, Hon. A.N.R. Robinson, members of Parliament, and members of the public were held hostage in the Red House and at state-owned broadcaster, TTT, by the Jamaat al Muslimeen. The insurrection would last six days.
Last Friday (July 23rd), THA Chief Secretary Hon. Ancil K. Dennis and former hostage, Wendell Eversley, laid wreaths at the gravesite of Mr. Robinson, in remembrance of the former President and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
“In the midst of what should have been a very fearful period [for A.N.R. Robinson], insurgents, terrorists armed with guns seeking to overthrow our democracy, he stood tall as the leader of this country and the Government, and he said some very telling words: ‘Attack with full force,’ words that I have continued to remember,” said Chief Secretary Dennis.
“It was my first day in Parliament as a civilian…that Friday night was the most terrible period in my life I ever witnessed,” said Eversley.
Eversley, who initiated the commemoration, thanked the Chief Secretary for his responsiveness to the invitation.
“I think if A.N.R. Robinson was alive today, he would have been glad to know the Chief Secretary answered the call, in being present, especially when the 31st anniversary of the Coup is around,” he said.
Twenty-four citizens lost their lives on that fateful day and many remain traumatized to this day.