A PAINFUL PRICE TO PAY for political deceptions

53

By FRED LIVERMORE

“By thy words, thou shall be justified or condemned, for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed nor hid that shall not be known.” Quite contrary to what many politi­cal experts and analysts believe as to which party shall win the next general elections, the cur­rent government of Dr Keith Rowley is being weighed in the balance and correspondingly found wanting. Only time will tell when the Great Almighty reveals who shall manage the affairs of this country; hope­fully with integrity, compassion and justice. Maybe the so-called “Great is the PNM” will yet learn lessons of humility and recognize the Great I Am.

As the days go by, more facts emerge and are thrown in the face of a nebulous national security lie. Shame, disgrace and embarrass­ment have encapsulated this twin-island state following the public statement by US Ambassador, Joseph Mondello; followed by in­ternational maritime intelligence from Lloyds of London, and the admissions of William Ruperti, the Venezuelan shipping magnate. Why the honourable Prime Min­ister is not publicly saying any­thing is not a mystery. His Cabinet leadership, consent and decision- making in this fiasco is now in grave danger. Can he face the population without admitting his apparent calculated errors? Above all, public trust, confidence, trans­parency and accountability have diminished greatly. The longer the honourable Prime Minister takes to speak, the worse it is for his government.
US Ambassador, Joseph Mon­dello has already robustly con­firmed that he had discussed the issues concerning the travel sanc­tions placed on Delcy Rodriguez, Venezuela’s Vice President and her March 29, 2020 visit with PD­VSA officials, as well as Trinidad and Tobago’s violations of the Rio Treaty with Minister Stuart Young. Minister Young allegedly tried to obfuscate, distort and negate the US Ambassador’s position when asked relevant questions recently in Parliament. At best, Minister Young’s responses appear cagey. It would be almost impossible for the Minister of Works and Trans­port, Rohan Sinanan and the Min­ister of Energy, Franklin Khan, to not know.

The threesome secret thatbecame a global scandal:Moses, Young and Khan should resign forthwith.

First, what would appear to have been a closely guarded po­litical “secret” by more than three Cabinet Ministers, has now emerged into a full-blown na­tional, regional and international scandal. All four – the Honorable Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley; Senator Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign Affairs; National Se­curity Minister, Stuart Young; and Minister of Energy, Franklin Khan – would have been privy to the reason for the “secret trip”. Now, with Aruba making denials about any sale of fuel from Trinidad, and William Ruperti, the Venezu­elan shipping magnate manipulat­ing deals left, right and centre, as a result of his close relationship with President Maduro, Trinidad and Tobago is now the epicentre of a growing scandal, and one if not dealt with diplomatic gentility, could place this country in a frac­tured relationship with the USA.
That alleged fuel sale under­mines our international image, and we may not be too far away from sanctions by the US government, despite verbal assurances from Minister Young. Ministers Moses and Young should not be called upon to resign, but they should do so as a matter of integrity and be­trayal of the public’s international and security relations. There are no excuses for this egregious gov­ernmental blunder.
In the world of global geopoli­tics, and for those junior local politicians like Minister Young, with no apparent deep state un­derstanding as to what US foreign policy interests and intelligence constitutes, and where it is head­ing in this globalized world, it becomes a cardinal sin to trifle with the principles, experience and intellectual maturity of a very distinguished political personage in US Ambassador Joseph Mon­dello.

Ambassador Mondello’s facts v. Minister Young’s “so-called “Truth

Minister Young will pay a pain­ful price, for political deceptions has its cumulative wages and mental health challenges. Minis­ter Moses should have taken his rod and fly away post-haste to a place where he can find peace near some burning bush. No “Red Sea” experience will help him in this sea of lies and propaganda that was fed to the population and Parliament. As members of the so-called “National Security Im­plications Team” they should all resign.Minister Stuart Young may be learning how to deceive from his political masters, but he is cer­tainly not adept at political diplo­macy at the highest level. It would have been both folly and a tragic political decision to allegedly mis­represent the truth in Parliament and to the nation, thereby casting aspersions on the US government, via its embassy here. One does not know whether Minister Young would have benefitted immensely and graduated summa cum laude from the personalized training of Rowley’s School of Advanced Di­plomacy, St. Ann’s Campus.
Furthermore, when Ambassa­dor Mondello had to break pro­tocol, it does suggest something critical, urgent and of national, regional and global significance; and a matter that required imme­diate clarification in the issuance of a statement in which “he all but accused National Security Minis­ter Stuart Young of lying about a conversation which they had on May 6 about the visit of Venezuela Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez’s visit to T&T.”
Ambassador Mondello, via a press release, said he did discuss T&T’s breach of the Rio Treaty with Young during the meeting. Mondello said he expressed his “concern to the Minister in that conversation about the composi­tion of (Venezuelan Vice-Presi­dent) Delcy Rodriguez’s visit to Port-of-Spain” and the country’s obligations to the Rio Treaty. The US Ambassador acknowl­edged the rarity of such a public response. “Normally, I do not comment on private conversations with host government officials,” Mondello said. However, he “af­firmed” that he and Young did dis­cuss the Government’s March 27 meeting with Rodriguez and that T&T had breached the Rio Treaty when Rodriguez was allowed to land in the country.
Minister of National Security, Stuart Young like on so many previous occasions, continues to make blunders in public office, courtesy his super minister status and extremely close attachment to the Honorable Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley. With such elevated status and high-level political pro­tection, it would appear that Min­ister Young can do no wrong, not even to examine himself and do the honourable thing, like former Minister Robert le Hunte and re­sign.

Venezuela ‘false berthings’off Trinidad further obscure oil exports

An article dated 15 April 2019 by Michelle Wiese Bockmann, a London-based energy commodi­ties and shipping editor/analyst, states that ships appear to be col­lecting oil cargo at Venezuela be­fore stopping off at Trinidad and Tobago and then setting off again, raising suspicions that cargoes are being hidden.
Venezuela’s national oil com­pany is using co-loads and “false berthings” into nearby Trinidad and Tobago to disguise cargo ori­gins as P&I clubs warn the hard­ening rhetoric from the hawks in Washington could sweep non-US owners and shippers into the sanc­tions net.

Bockmann further stated three PDVSA tankers that loaded oil cargoes in Venezuela since March 21 then diverted to areas close to Trinidad and Tobago for several hours, according to ves­sel-tracking data. After spending a short time in the waters of the Caribbean island, the tankers then departed for their final long-haul destinations. The practice was identified as “false berthing” and similar to those used by Iran’s na­tional oil company, Kpler, a Par­is-based company that analyses cargo flows, said in a report. This was likely an attempt to get new bills of lading stating Trinidad and not Venezuela, according to Kpler, which added that the car­goes were fuel oil.
The obfuscation in Trinidadi­an waters is the second PDVSA tactic noted to complicate the destination and origin of petro­leum and crude exports. Ships transponders are turned off.”

National Security has reached an all-time low under Stuart Young

Look at yourself in the mirror, Minister Young, seek forgive­ness from your heavenly Father, and speak the truth to the nation, resign, and you shall have a trou­bled free conscience, otherwise your burdens will overcome you. Take warning. National Secu­rity has reached an all-time low under your stewardship. This is a complex Ministry with ex­pertise you simply do not have, and certainly appear to be poorly advised in speaking and making critical decisions.
If we were more diligent and passionate about excellent gov­ernance, this government would have had to call elections im­mediately or collectively resign. However, we simply do not seem to care, are not politically astute and advanced in our thinking, and prefer a laisse- faire ap­proach to life. That is why the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues play games with the population. Watch and see how things develop in this country.
Truly, the honorable Prime Minister should read Daniel Chapter 5: 25-27. “God had numbered thy kingdom and fin­ished it. You and your Cabinet are weighed in the balances and found wanting.”