Britain's Image not reflected in Trinidad
It's a former British colony that this year is celebrating 50 years of independence. Economically the country is well and truly independent with extensive reserves of oil and gas thanks to its location close to the Venezuelan coast. And culturally it is rightly proud of its music and dance traditions of calypso and carnival. Perhaps the most lasting link with Britain is through sport. Some of the kids follow baseball and American football, but it's cricket and soccer that are the real passions.
But politically, although Trinidad is a member of the Commonwealth with the British Queen at its head, most eyes are firmly fixed on the US and not the UK. Geographically you're closer, of course, but that's far from the only reason. So I asked a number of people what the draw was from America. The most common answer was Obama. They pointed to Trinidad's ethnic mix of mostly African and Indian descent. Where are the black role models in the UK, they asked?
And it's true. While we have a diverse multi-ethnic population, the image Britain has abroad is very much a white one. We've never had a black or Asian person in any of the top jobs in politics. No Colin Powell, no Condi Rice, and certainly no Barack Obama. So my brief look at Trinidad caused me to take a long, hard look at my own country. If we want our voice to count in the world, we need to consider how we look and not just what we say.
This is Lance Price for CBS News in London.
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