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Farrakhan opens visit to Caribbean in Trinidad

By Richard B. Muhammad Editor | Last updated: Mar 23, 2012 - 11:16:02 AM

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Minister Farrakhan speaks March 21 at press conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad ( - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan opened his visit to Caribbean nations with a press conference in the capitol city of Trinidad. He called for Caribbean unity, cross racial efforts to advance this island nation and stressed the need for proper, independent development for the West Indies.

Speaking to the media at a March 21 press conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel, the Nation of Islam leader beat back any suggestion his presence would further divide a place where race and ethnicity often bring political and social fractures.

“At this critical moment in history, the West Indies must not be marginalized,” said Min. Farrakhan.

David Muhammad, representative of the Nation of Islam in Trinidad, introduces the Minister at March 21 press conference. Photos: Richard B. Muhammad
He urged Trinidadians to find a path to unity for the good of the country, saying racial divisions between Blacks, Indians, Arabs and Chinese would not bring progress and hurt the country. The country’s anthem, which celebrates the ethnic differences of Trinidadians, and historic intermarriage between the groups, is part of the beauty of Trinidad and a sign of the closeness of the groups, Min. Farrakhan said.

He invited students—Black, Indian and other—to come to two lectures scheduled for the upcoming weekend. Public lectures were scheduled for Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25, in Port of Spain.

The hope of the country and the Caribbean is young people who are properly taught and given the opportunity to work in their homeland, said the Nation of Islam minister.

Today students are being trained for industries that are not developed or present in the Caribbean so the majority of those who receive higher education flee Trinidad and Tobago and other island countries for opportunities in America, England and Western nations, Min. Farrakhan.

Min. Farrakhan, flanked by Regional Student Minister Rasul Muhammad, son of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad.

He noted that a speech scheduled for the University of the West Indies was moved after attempts to charge for the venue where he would speak. Having come and brought staff and others who came at their own expense, the Minister said he did not feel it was right to be charged for a place to give a free speech. It was perhaps a way of saying Farrakhan’s message is not wanted this time, he said.

Min. Farrakhan speaks with David Walcott, managing editor of the Afrikan Voice, at the end of press conference.
Min. Farrakhan said he came especially to talk to young people, and said efforts to charter buses to transport students to the new location for his message would happen.

Inspiring and keeping young people at home is what is needed, their opportunities must not be limited to service industry jobs and Trinidad’s future must not be mortgaged to lenders like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which exploit and extract the resources of vulnerable nations, he said.

Nation of Islam minister greets another journalist following session with reporters.

Trinidad, though a great and wealthy country, could be so much greater as part of a United Caribbean, he stressed. “Trinidad is great but if we had greater unity we could speak with greater power to the North,” said Min. Farrakhan. There is also a need for an independent Caribbean development bank to support development without hamstringing the countries, he said.

Muslim sisters of Trinidadian descent came from America, Canada and the United Kingdom to support Min. Farrakhan’s visit to the country.
The Minister, whose parents are from the Caribbean, said he came to offer wisdom from the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his teacher and patriarch of the Nation of Islam, to a place that has given so much to him personally and Black America.

During the Minister last visit to Trinidad in 1996, he spoke to nearly 8,000 people at the Jean Pierre Complex and another 1,500 at Shaw Park, Tobago. That visit also included tours and meetings with community and political leaders.

This visit follows a tour of the Caribbean that started last December. 

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Video: Minister Farrakhan's Full Length Trinidad Press Conference (FCN, 03-21-2012)