While our athletes are straining every muscle to keep our flag flying proudly and high in London, Ambassador Therese Baptiste-Cornelis has been putting us to shame with a performance that does nothing but disgrace us.
The YouTube video of Madam Ambassador's address at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Geneva has gone viral on social media, leaving behind a nation cringing in embarrassment at the quality of its diplomatic representation in a key location in the world.
For this, we hold the Prime Minister personally responsible. It was she who took the appalling decision to rid the Cabinet of the highly undiplomatic Mrs Baptiste-Cornelis by shipping her off to a major diplomatic posting in Europe.
That decision has now boomeranged on the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Apart from emphasising her compete lack of suitability for any diplomatic assignment, Mrs Baptiste-Cornelis's rant raises a number of worrying questions, including the issue of her professional conduct at the University of the West Indies and the Prime Minister's continued flawed judgment in the post-Reshmi Ramnarine era.
Seasoned diplomats had been warning the Prime Minister about the dangers of solving her problems by relocating them to the diplomatic service. This latest incident with Mrs Baptiste-Cornelis indicates that the chickens are indeed coming home to roost.
Diplomatic representation is a serious matter for the people of Trinidad and Tobago and deserves the best quality personnel available to us. At a time when every country in the world is stepping up its game to compete in the global marketplace, we appear to be devaluing our diplomacy by reducing it to the level of political trinket.
Mrs Baptiste-Cornelis is not the first case to cause worry. Just recently, T&T's ambassador to Washington, Dr Neil Parsan, made headlines, not for some major diplomatic initiative or achievement but for posing for the US magazine Home and Design in showing off the extensive renovations to the embassy. We are yet to learn the cost of keeping Dr Parsan in style.
The Prime Minister's pattern of diplomatic appointments demonstrates that she views such appointments as political currency to be traded as needed. We recall Verna St Rose Greaves saying that she had been offered a diplomatic posting to Costa Rica in being relieved of her Cabinet portfolio.
At a time when every country is seeking to maximise every dollar of investment in foreign representation, we cannot allow the honour and responsibility of representing this country to be reduced to a sop for bruised egos and political gift-giving.
In the case of Mrs Baptiste-Cornelis, the damage has already been done. We are quite probably the laughing stock of everyone who has viewed her YouTube performance.
If we are to save any face at all, both Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar need to act urgently to rescue our reputation by replacing her with a respected representative of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.