Trinidad and Tobago citizens at risk with shady Venezuela deals

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Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley (L) with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Dear Sir

The Dr Keith Rowley administration willful and reckless actions have endangered Trinidad and Tobago’s foreign and diplomatic relations with key allies. The latest revelation by the US Embassy confirmed that Trinidad and Tobago violated the Rio Treaty by allowing Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodriguez into our borders in March.

The government has been caught lying to the people of Trinidad and Tobago about the details of this meeting, feigning ignorance and flip-flopping on their story. They have also deliberately sought to derail legitimate queries into the reasons they have put our country at risk by using insidious and inaccurate words, like “treason” and “traitor”.

The US Embassy confirmed that Delcy Rodriguez is subject to travel sanctions that are binding on all Rio Treaty parties. Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the treaty, therefore, the Rowley administration’s actions on March 27, 2020, to grant an exemption for Rodriguez not only to land in Trinidad but to also facilitate a meeting with the prime minister and senior members of the Cabinet, is a gross violation of our international obligations.

The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance commonly known as the Rio Treaty is an agreement signed in 1947, the central principle contained in its articles is that an attack against one is to be considered an attack against them all; this was known as the “hemispheric defense” doctrine. The actions of this government put Trinidad and Tobago in danger of losing these protections.

The government must be aware that despite their routine defense that the UN recognizes the Maduro regime, this does not override any treaty that we have with our international allies or negates any actions which violate these treaties.

The flagrant attempt to cover up this visit by the Venezuelan vice president has led the prime minister and minister of national security to become tangled in their web of lies. They have changed their story every day since the revelation was made by opposition leader Kamla Persad Bissessar last Friday.

The first excuse was pathetic in that they just did not know who was in the room, this could not be true because Minister Young himself had to grant authorization for Delcy Rodriguez and her delegation to enter Trinidad and Tobago. Their second excuse of the responsibility of knowing whether aircraft are sanctioned or not is under Civil Aviation was rubbished by the Civil Aviation Authority’s director-general Francis Regis who stated that this was solely the responsibility of the ministry of national security.

In their desperation to cover up the reckless actions they sought to introduce a red herring, however, we reiterate that no one in the United National Congress (UNC) ever called or will ever call for sanctions on the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We are calling on the Dr Rowley administration to separate the citizens of this country from their shady deals.

What should be clear to the people of Trinidad and Tobago is that Dr Rowley and Stuart Young have endangered the diplomatic relations of our country by facilitating a meeting with the sanctioned Rodriguez. They have yet to come clean on why the meeting was so essential that it had to be accommodated one day after the Maduro regime was indicted by the US Department of Justice on narco-terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

The actions of the government do not reflect their “non-interventionist” claim but rather they have aligned Trinidad and Tobago against our strongest hemispheric allies, and the people of Trinidad and Tobago need to know why.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This situation or what appears to be a situation, reveals the flaws of an already dreadful human society. This Rio Agreement, albeit post World War 2, does impede and negatively impact the constitutional rights of the many generations that followed post World War 2, who, mind you, did not sign up for this treaty, whose signatories are long dead. This Rio treaty is unconstitutional and outdated in these modern times! This is the 21st century and yet we think and allow others to think so backwardly when it comes to this Rio Treaty that seeks to protect the interests of one culprit nation, whose human rights abuses and war crimes are well documented, glorified, and sold off as “justified in their actions”.

    This situation with Venezuela’s Government runs much deeper than most people are willing to admit! I’m shocked that the UN recognizes the Maduro Government as legitimate. It is well known that elections in Venezuela is a gauntlet and crucible of oppression and wickedness! Does not the American CIA finance coups in the region, and make assassination attempts on the lives of political leaders who see things a bit differently from their (political America) agendas? Heck, they even killed JFK, Lincoln, MLKjr. We’re looking at a Bipolar Nation (as the brainchild of this treaty) and other autistic nations (as signatories).

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