CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Aug. 23, 2010: Trinidad and Tobago`s first female Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, wrapped up her inaugural trip to the Big Apple Saturday night, by ending her silence with Caribbean media.
Persad-Bissessar gave the first and only Caribbean media interview to Trinidad and Tobago-born broadcaster, Rennie Bishop of WRRL 1600 AM radio.
The PM appeared on Bishop`s `Caribbean Corner,` at 6:09 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21st, and told the Trini radio personality, journalist Tony Best, and CC`s co-host Felicia Persaud, that her silence was largely due to a nasty cold.
She apologized to the media and those whom she said tried to speak to her through her handlers, but insisted that the flu had taken a toll on her and she was only able to now `cough and speak,` whereas before she could hardly speak.
Asked about the perception that her historic visit seemed to favor one ethnicity over another, PM Persad-Bissessar insisted that she is `committed to a united Trinidad and Tobago` and does not have a racist bone in her body.
She said that perception may have stemmed from the fact that she came to New York for the Indian Independence Day Parade, but explained that she made a judgment call following the invite, given the fact that the Indian Diaspora presented a huge opportunity to network and as a person of Indian origin, she felt honored to be a part of it.
The PM, however, insisted that she stayed on in New York for 10 days because of the fact that Trinidad and Tobago`s independence ball was set for August 21st and she could not visit for the Indian parade and not attend the twin-island Republic`s own ball.
As she stated: `As leader of the People`s Partnership, I give my attention to every single group since we are so blessed with some many ethnicities and cultures and talent.`
Meanwhile, the PM she felt her election to the top post was based on change to `right some of the wrongs` in the country, adding that her administration has inherited at an economy that was on a downward spiral.
But Persad-Bissessar said they are looking to showcase some measures correct this in their first budget in September and the key solution she feels is economic diversity.
`We cannot rest out hopes and dreams in the energy basket alone,` said the PM.
She also said that the law of the land is the death penalty and it will be enforced as her government grapples with a crime problem.
On Caricom, Persad-Bissessar told the radio hosts that she remains committed to regional integration, despite the recent ATM comment that was carried in the media.
But she expressed concern at the growth of the level of integration and the lip service paid since the Treaty of Chaguramas.
`We want change the leadership structure so we don`t simply have talk shops every three four months,` said PM Persad-Bissessar. `A lot more still needs to be done.`