By Caribbean News Global contributor
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Statements made on May 11, 2020, by national security minister Stuart Young, concerning the revelations that PDVSA officials accompanied Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodriguez on her visit to Trinidad and Tobago on March 27, 2020, illustrates a desperate administration, sequence of crude intelligence, shattered by the outflow of documented facts.
Over the last 72 hours, the government’s version of events and accountability has shifted numerous times. Minister Young’s statements likewise generated more questions than the Dr Keith Rowley administration is capable of answering, illustrated via a press statement by the United National Congress (UNC).
The UNC’s chronology of events states that: “On Friday, May 8, 2020, prime minister Dr Rowley stated that he only came to realize PDVSA officials were present at the meeting with Delcy Rodriguez when opposition leader Kamla Persad Bissessar made it public. However, long before the opposition leader’s revelation, the government kept insisting that the meeting was between the Venezuelan vice president and the prime minister, purportedly on COVID-19 related matters.
“May 11, 2020, minister Young claimed that both Delcy Rodríguez and president of PDVSA Asdrúbal Chávez – who is also a former Petroleum minister met with Dr Rowley, foreign affairs minister Denis Moses and minister Young respectively.”
The UNC release continued: “Minister Young said that he authorized the executive vice president of Venezuela but yet, he had no idea what type of aircraft she came on, or who was part of the delegation.”
The unanswered question surrounds: How can a national security minister grant such exemptions without any knowledge of the aircraft or the passengers on board?
The oil triangle saddle with crude intelligence continues: “The prime minister said last Friday that knowing whether the aircraft was under sanctions or not was a matter for Civil Aviation, however, the Civil Aviation Authority responded, stating that the responsibility was solely that of the ministry of national security.”
The UNC further stated that: “Minister Young also stated Monday that the sale of fuel was made to Aruba with a specific condition in the contract that it was not to be provided to any nation under sanction. This is yet another flip-flop from their previous statements.”
This further call to question: What was Chavez’s reason for being in a discussion with the prime minister when minister Young said the meeting was about COVID-19?
The UNC has repeatedly stated that the government is not telling the truth and continues to call on the Dr Rowley-led government to come clean about the purpose of this meeting, and answer:
- Was Chavez involved in any way in the company that the fuel was consigned to in Aruba;
- Was this is the only shipment, and;
- Is there more that is not yet unknown?
The UNC also questioned if Dr Rowley and Young have something to hide, and/or; are desperately trying to dodge, deflect, and cover-up the details of March 27, 2020, out of concern that actions may have placed the country at a dangerous intersection.
“Trinidad and Tobago deserve a government that is committed to truth, accountability, and transparency in public affairs, as oppose to the Dr Rowley administration”, the UNC said.