UNC: Gov’t Downplaying Meeting with Venezuela VP, PSDVA Officials

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THE United National Congress says the People’s National Government (PNM) is scrambling to downplay the meeting with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodriguez on March 27.

In a release on Tuesday, the UNC made reference to comments made by Young at the virtual media conference on Monday.

The release stated:

“The statements made on May 112020 by 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, show a desperate administration scrambling to downplay the issue, and deflect attention from it.

“The National Security Minister’s statements yesterday have generated more questions than they have answered.


“On Friday 8 May 2020, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley stated that he only came to realise PDVSA officials were present at the meeting with Delcy Rodriguez when Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar made it public. Long before the Opposition Leader’s revelation, the Government kept insisting that the meeting was between the Venezuelan VP and the Prime Minister, purportedly on Covid-19 related matters.

“However, yesterday, 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 himself.

“Over the last 72 hours, the Government’s account of this meeting has shifted several times.

“Minister Young said that he personally authorised 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. How can a National Security Minister grant such exemptions without any knowledge of the aircraft or the passengers on board?

“The Prime Minister said on 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 the Ministry of National Security and not theirs.

“Minister Young also stated yesterday 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.

“What was Mr Chavez’s reason for being in a discussion with the Prime Minister when Minister Young said the meeting was about Covid-19? It is clear that the Government is not telling the truth and we call on them to come clean about the purpose of this meeting.

“Was Mr Chavez involved in any way in the company that the fuel was consigned to in Aruba and this the only shipment or is there more that is not yet known of?

“It is clear that Keith Rowley and Stuart Young have something to hide. They are desperately trying to dodge, deflect, and cover-up the details of the March 27, 2020, and their actions have put our country in a dangerous place (situation).  Trinidad and Tobago deserves a Government that is committed to truth, accountability, and transparency in public affairs, the opposite of this Keith Rowley administration.”



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