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Rowley says Guyana also Refusing Its Citizens from Returning Home

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PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley hits out at the Trinidad Express newspapers for a story it did where one of 33 Trinidad nationals in Barbados says race may be playing a role as to why they are not being allowed to return home.

They were in quarantine in Barbados after arriving a day after Trinidad and Tobago borders were closed in an effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Phillip Ramdial said only two of the people in the party whose quarantine time is over were not of East Indian descent.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Rowley also shared a news clip where the caretaker prime minister of Guyana Moses Nagamootoo told his more than 200 nationals who were trying to return to “sit it out” outside of Guyana until it deals with the Covid-19.

Nagamootoo said Guyana’s airspace was closed until May 1 and said he empathised “with you, we would like to see you back home but for the moment we would like you to sit it out for a while longer until we are able to give ourselves space to be able to deal with the number of cases here to see that we could do a number of proper contact tracing that we will be able to reduce the number of imported cases in the country…”

Rowley posted:

What does the Trinidad Express think now that an East Indian Prime Minister in a Caricom nation has taken a position that his Government is not opening its border to let even nationals in, many of whom are East Indians.

This decision in Guyana is coming ONE MONTH after a Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister took the same decision for the identical reasons.

However, in Trinidad, the Express Editor and elements of staff along with politicians and lawyers and selected columnists invoke race, facilitate disgruntled people’s racist interpretations and write Headlines and Editorials to defend their dastardly irresponsible conduct. 

The singular objective of theirs is to shape and fashion a political narrative that they believe would be negative to the Government.

As Prime Minister I do this job only in keeping with my oath of office, lonely and thankless as it is, I do it because somebody has to do it.

There will be another time when somebody else will have to do it and I will be the most understanding of their plight.

I see the best wishes meted out to me and my family by many grateful citizens but I also see the nastiness of some who have a role to play but choose to play it discordantly.

It might make ‘good’ headlines and sell a media product but do you think that your people have any idea of the spectrum of pain and stress involved in making decisions on a silent, invisible killer which threatens to change ALL lives forever?

Or are they just the parochial tools of the ambitious thieves and vagabonds who have nothing to contribute other than their own narrow self-interest?

Phillip Ramdial

Ramdial, 74, told the Express:“I think it’s because of the ethic divide. We have started thinking that it must be the ethnic divide. They have all the information—names, passport numbers, address, everything they need to get, but it is because of that ethnic divide. I didn’t want to think that but, sorry, I have to say that. These people are vindictive and wicked, very nasty, and to say they don’t know, they damn well know.”

He added, “To be honest, we are 33 in num­ber, two of the group are of Afri­can descent.

“I don’t know who is boss, whe­ther it is (National Security Minister) Mr Stuart Young or Dr Keith Rowley. I’m not sure because I like Dr Rowley, and I cannot understand how he could allow this to happen.”

Ramdial said other countries went through great efforts to repatriate their citizens but Trinidad and Tobago has shunned its own, the Express reported.

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