Prime Minister Patrick Manning announced that industrialization of his country will go "full pace ahead" and that one way or another he will find a home for a widely unpopular $1.5 billion smelter operation to be run by U.S.-based aluminum giant ALCOA.
Manning accused residents opposed to the smelter and involved with protests as being involved with the illegal drug trade. He based this claim on information he received at a meeting with four pro-smelter groups.
The new site proposed is Otaheite, another fishing village in the southern part of the country.
"The people who are down in Chatham, they don’t want it. They were willing to lay their lives down on the line. It is not a good thing. We are together with them," said local resident Ramos Ramdeo.
Shockingly, PM Manning hasn’t ruled out trying to return the project to Chatham—where opponents of the smelter sustained massive protests and marches to chase the company out.
"They cannot seem to understand the word `No.’ `No Smelter,’" said Peter Vine, an agricultural physicist and lecturer at the University of the West Indies here, who is among the scholars, musicians, farmers and now fishermen fighting to keep the smelter out of Trinidad and Tobago. "We don’t want Alcoa. End of discussion."