At the United National Congress (UNC) national assembly in Couva on Sunday, Persad-Bissessar claimed TT could jeopardise its relations with the US as a result of the government's position on Venezuela.
She said 200,000 citizens have US tourist visas, and TT imports 70 per cent of its food from the US and exports $18.9 billion to the US annually. Persad-Bissessar also said TT received trade preferences amounting to $2.8 billion under the Caribbean Basin Initiative. She said TT’s waiver expired and the US congress had to approve its renewal.
However, In a statement, Young said Trinidad continued to count the US “among its treasured partners.” He said Persad-Bissessar’s latest allegations are an “unfounded and a naked attempt to cover up” the “most recent overwhelming criticism of the Opposition.”
Young reiterated that TT, CARICOM and many other countries took an identical position of non-interference and non-intervention with respect to Venezuela, and condemned what he called Persad-Bissessar’s efforts to undermine TT’s position “particularly at this time of sensitive negotiations.”
The Prime Minister is part of a CARICOM delegation to New York for talks with UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The talks focused on the potential threat the Venezuelan situation poses to regional security, social and economic disruption.
"Notwithstanding efforts by the UNC to undermine Trinidad and Tobago's position, particularly at this time of sensitive negotiations, Trinidad and Tobago reaffirms its principle positions and counts the USA among its treasured partners in observing and protecting these principles," Young said.
Last Friday, Dr Rowley said TT will not be dictated to by any other country about regime change in Venezuela.
US Ambassador to TT Joseph Mondello has expressed concern over TT’s recognising what he termed the “undemocratic and illegitimate government of Nicolas Maduro.”
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