by Jonathan Bhaggan
Akeila Bermudez is a 28-year-old Trinidadian woman of mixed African and Latino descent. She is the vice chairperson and co-founder of the Republican Elected Party and a businesswoman.
Despite her young age, Akeila has several years of experience in politics. She has had to overcome many obstacles and discrimination of the worst possible kind. Akeila shared these heart-breaking stories with me but did not want this article to focus on the negatives of her past.
Through her hard times, Akeila held on to the Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. She is committed to building a political party that exemplifies the highest standards of biblical morals and values.
“I believe I am called by God into politics, that is my passion, God is not done with this country and I believe that there is a season of victory to come for Trinidad and Tobago and it starts with God,” said Akeila.
Akeila’s passion for politics stems from a desire to see much-needed help for the poor and underprivileged and a desire to advance the cause of Christ.
“I do not believe the present-day administration represents Christian values. The government at present is not a conservative party, it is an incestuous form of socialism and populism, and it does little to help small businesses or diversify the economy. If the ruling party believed in Bible prophecy, they would have invested in agriculture years ago to avert the present food crises internationally or at least by now shift investments to the agriculture sector,” said Akeila.
Akeila believes in the politics of freedom and morality. She wants a government that encourages people to innovate and increases the ease of doing business so that the people can create their own wealth.
Voodoo and Victimisation
Akeila shared with me heartbreaking stories about her past abuse while she was in a very popular “third party.”
She wants the public to see her as an overcomer and a victor, not a victim. Akeila did, however, agree to share the experiences that offended her Christian values.
“The political leader, a man who has no African ancestry and claims to be Catholic, went and brought a voodoo man from Africa to do rituals at the headquarters of the party. A shrine with a picture of this witch doctor was kept in the headquarters and members of the party were encouraged to bow to it and touch it for good luck before they went on TV interviews.
“Respecting another religion is one thing, but expecting members of a political party to give worship to a picture of a witch doctor is madness,” Akeila said.
Aside from embracing voodoo, the party engaged in many questionable activities. Barrels of goods that were supposed to be donated to the poor were instead sold for profit. The executive of the party spent money freely and no audited accounts were ever produced for the sake of transparency.
When Akeila raised concerns about what was going on, the executive of the party sidelined her. An entire WhatsApp group was formed of party members specifically to cyberstalk Akeila and insult everything she did within the party.
Eventually, Akeila realised that she had to stand up for what was right and she helped lead a group of trustworthy members against the faction within the party that was engaging in what can only be described as evil.
After much infighting that occurred in the year 2020, Akeila and the members of the party who wanted to stand up for ethics and good governance left the party.
The Politics of Freedom
Akeila believes in the politics of freedom and bases her belief on the importance of freedom in the Bible at 2 Corinthians 3:17.
“I believe that political freedom can bring change in this country. It can bring prosperity, the right to petition the government and it can bring increased productivity. Change has to start from the political world and invoke action, by changing the minds of the people.
“The day we get our people to change the way they think and the way that they view politics is the day that no stronghold, no false political party, no evil spirit, no voodoo, no racism or agenda could hold back the progress of this country or what God wants to do with this country,” Akeila said.
“We need to be freed from separation, from discrimination, from old political mindsets and from, the fear of failure.”
Akeila hopes that readers begin to open their eyes to the need for moral values and truth in politics and the need to protect all persons, especially women from discrimination so that they can have their voices heard and not just heard but considered.
“Too many women are used as puppets and placeholders in political parties and face abuse and manipulation by power-hungry men. I believe that Trinbagonians know what they are looking for in an administration and I trust that when we present ourselves with enough work and communication the shift will happen and women would now have a safe space in politics in Trinidad and Tobago,” Akeila said.