By Caribbean News Global contributor
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Less than a week ago, the United National Congress (UNC) questioned minister of national security and minister in the office of the prime minister Stuart Young in the Senate, and [Young] claimed that US ambassador Joseph Mondello never spoke of the potential violation of the Rio Treaty caused by sanctioned Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodriguez’ meeting with prime minister Dr Keith Rowley.
The Dr Rowley administration has seemingly been caught misrepresenting the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Yesterday, US ambassador released a definitive statement on the matter:
Ambassador Joseph N. Mondello
Rio Treaty was Raised with Government of Trinidad and Tobago
Port of Spain, May 19, 2020:
Normally I do not comment on private conversations with host government officials.
Since the government has spoken publicly about my May 6 conversation with Minister Young, though, I wish to affirm that I expressed concern to the Minister in that conversation about the consistency of Delcy Rodriguez’s visit to Port of Spain with Trinidad and Tobago’s obligations as a party to the Rio Treaty.
Article 20 of the Rio Treaty makes it unambiguously clear that all measures imposed by the Organ of Consultation — like the travel restrictions on Ms. Rodriguez — are binding on all treaty parties, whether or not they voted in favor of such measures.
U.S. Ambassador Joseph N. Mondello.
“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 UNC statement read. “The actions of this government has placed Trinidad and Tobago in danger of losing these protections attempted a major cover-up. Minister Young’s misrepresented the fact that his government has not only broken the trust of our allies but jeopardized our international image.”
The UNC statement inquired how many misrepresentations will the Dr Rowley government “tell to cover-up their links to the Maduro elites”?
“It is unacceptable that yet again this government has sought to mislead our population as well as our parliament where the statements were initially made. There is a clear practice of deception by members of the Dr Rowley regime as they repeatedly try to mislead the population. Their ‘lies’ have now caught the attention of the international community including the US ambassador.
“The ambassador’s statements further prove that the prime minister himself has been less than truthful with the people of our nation when he dismissed these claims as false last Saturday. It is utterly shameful that the Dr Rowley regime has tarnished our image at a time when nations like ours need to maintain proper relations with the international community as we ease out of this global pandemic.”
The UNC maintains that it has never called for any sanctions to be placed on Trinidad and Tobago but rather sought to expose the detrimental actions of the Dr Rowley regime. Actions that now prove enough to warrant reaction by the international community.
“Their constant attempts to distract, blame and deceive are coming to an end as all their misrepresentation is being exposed. The only decent thing left for Dr Rowley and his cronies to do is to step down and call general elections,” the UNC statement concluded.