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DOMA president: PoS never recovered from attempted coup
President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud says Port-of-Spain has never recovered from the 1990 attempted coup. Aboud said so in a telephone interview yesterday on the anniversary of the coup attempt. He said, “We think it is right and fitting that the media in T&T continue to use the anniversary of the 1990 attempted coup to source information and/or comments regarding the event.
“It is fitting because in our opinion there has never been closure, because of the obvious injustice of the events. That injustice intensified in the years since the event, with thousands of murders and other criminal acts occurring, to which no justice has been brought. The events of July 1990 changed Port-of-Spain indelibly.”
Aboud said evidence of change could be seen in the reconstruction of the city. “Most visibly in the fortress-type reconstruction that replaced many of the gracious buildings that were destroyed. Worse than that was the cynicism that removed forever any age of innocence that the citizens had.” He said the attempted coup also had economic implications.
“The economic adversity and destruction of the investor confidence which was occasioned by the attack on the Parliament and widespread looting and property destruction was mitigated by two specific strategies. “One strategy was the continuation of the liberalisation of the economy begun by the NAR government and continued by the new PNM administration in 1991.
“The other strategic initiative was the introduction by then minister Wendell Mottley of an investment incentive involving a tax holiday on income earned on new buildings which would have to be constructed within a specified timeframe, combined with interest subsidy to those property owners whose premises were destroyed.” He added that an “economic disaster” was averted by these policies.
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