"My jaw dropped."
That was the reaction by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday to the now viral Internet video of Ambassador to the United Nations in Switzerland and former health minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis speaking at a recent cultural diplomacy forum in Geneva.
"I knew that the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago has made a career of making bad appointments, but this one is in a class by itself," he said.
Rowley made the statement in response to questions by the media at a PNM media conference at Balisier House in Port of Spain yesterday.
"The woman is an embarrassment," he said.
Rowley said he only saw the video yesterday morning, but said he was sure that if Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had not already seen it, someone would have drawn her attention to it by now.
"If the Prime Minister has not taken steps to remove that woman and prevent her from embarrassing the people of Trinidad and Tobago further then the Prime Minister stands further accused of being to the detriment of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. I have never in my life seen any person acting on behalf of their country or even on their own behalf, bad grammar and all, so embarrass a people," Rowley said.
Rowley said Baptiste-Cornelis' speech was also an embarrassment to the University of West Indies (UWI) brand.
"I have three degrees from UWI and the UWI has produced a number of outstanding citizens and for us to be so presented to the world, that video has done harm to the UWI brand," he said.
"This development with this Ambassador symbolises, encapsulates, all that is bad and wrong with this UNC coalition," he added.