Howzat?! Live Wire examines Easter tale of betrayal, as documents reveal how Moses knifed his ambassador

What’s the difference between Australia cricket captain Steve Smith and Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses?

Well, one is a dishonest, unconscionable, disloyal twat with little apparent understanding or appreciation for morality in public affairs and the ramifications of his decisions as a leader. The other is a 28-year-old athlete.

Photo: Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis  Moses (right) did a horrible imitation of Australia cricket captain Steve Smith yesterday when he sought to explain a position taken by his OAS Ambassador.
(Image: Scotty Ranking)

Earlier this week, Smith stood up and accepted his part in directing 25-year-old Test rookie Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the cricket ball in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage over South Africa.

Moses—a name he shares with one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament—took a more biblical approach to a Foreign Affairs scandal on Tuesday, which was akin to Peter’s glowing recommendation for Jesus after the Last Supper.

“I tell allyuh ah doh know the f***ing man!”

And, just like that, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to the OAS, the bespectacled retired Brigadier General Anthony Phillip-Spencer, found himself all alone behind enemy lines with Moses driving a bus straight at him.

But let Mr Live Wire recount the butchery of Washington and one of the worst high-profile knifings on US soil since Lorena Bobbit.

On Thursday 22 March, 2018, Ambassador Phillip-Spencer, via First Secretary Kaanita Shah, wrote to Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Jennifer Daniels for guidance on an agenda item at a Regular Meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS.

The missive was headlined “Request by the Commonwealth of Dominica to waive OAS financial contributions for 2018 and 2019.”

Photo: A snapshot of Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“[…] The Mission is of the view that the Commonwealth of Dominica should be supported,” stated the Ambassador, “as a fellow CARICOM Member State that has been subject to the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

“In this regard, the Mission would like to see the guidance of the Ministry on this matter…”

The Ambassador went further still the following day, after speaking to the CAAP (Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs) Secretariat of the OAS.

“[…] The other Member States will not be expected to absorb the amount,” stated Phillip-Spencer, via Shah. “The overall quota collection will be affected. However, since the execution level approved for 2018 is lower than the quota income, that will not be affected either.

“[…] It is hoped that this information may prove useful in determining TT’s position with regard to Dominica’s request for a waiver of their financial contributions to the OAS for 2018 and 2019.”

The Ministry’s response to Phillip-Spencer came via Foreign Service Officer III Akilah Seale and pointed to the country’s position on requested waivers by countries affected by the 2017 hurricane season at the:

  • Forty-first meeting of CARICOM’s Community Council on 15 January, 2018 in Georgetown, Guyana;
  • Fourth and ninth Special Meeting of CARICOM’s Community Council—both via video conference—on 2 and 6 February, 2018;
  • Eleventh Extraordinary Meeting of the Special Committee on Budget and Administration (ACS) on 6 February, 2018 in Port-of-Spain.
Photo: Foreign and CARICOM Affairs PS Jennifer Daniel (right) and France Ambassador Serge Lavroff on 28 February, 2018.
(Courtesy Foreign and CARICOM Affairs)

And, with more than a hint that Daniels and/or Moses felt Phillip-Spencer was either visually impaired or hard of hearing, the remainder of the Foreign Affairs’ response was written in bold font.

At the aforementioned Meetings, Trinidad and Tobago expressed solidarity with the Member States negatively impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. However, it did not support the granting of waivers of payment contributions.

Alternatively, Trinidad and Tobago proposed that consideration should be given to the deferral of payments of contributions by Member States…”

Dominica Ambassador Judith-Anne Rolle pleaded to the OAS’s 35 Member States that her country had just suffered “total damages of US$931 […] amounting to 226 percent of their GDP of 2016.”

The response from the Ministry of Moses was to get Dominica a violin—and let them pay for it!

Trinidad and Tobago has explicitly stated that it is not in a position to facilitate an increase in its assessed contributions,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry told its Ambassador, in bold font, “in order to accommodate a waiver of financial contributions by Member States given its current fiscal constraints.

Accordingly, the Ministry wishes to advise that the position of Trinidad and Tobago should remain consistent with those expressed at the aforementioned Meetings at CARICOM and the ACS with respect to the granting of waivers of financial contributions by Member States.”

Photo: And imagine they blasted me for s****ing on poor countries!
(Copyright Getty)

And what was the cost of the waiver that Dominica was seeking? It was estimated at between US$15,000 and US$20,000.

Or, to offer local context, it was somewhere between the figure that taxpayers might fork out for its Sport Minister to either take staff for a weekend jaunt in Tobago or to sexually harass a cute secretary.

Phillip-Spencer followed instructions with all the relish of a seven-year-old child trying to swallow a glass of Buckley’s. He was the only OAS member to so deny Dominica and the response was savage—at home and abroad.

It was time for Moses to don his baggy green cap and take ownership of the mess, as did the Australia cricket captain. Instead, with a sadistic gleam in his eye, he warmed up the bus.

“In an unqualified way, the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs regrets the misrepresentation of the position of Trinidad and Tobago offered by a public official of Trinidad and Tobago […] relative to a request from Dominica for a waiver of its financial contribution to that Organization for the years 2018 to 2019,” stated a release. “Currently, an investigation into the briefing arrangements of the public official and the circumstances involved in the discussion at the OAS is underway. Shortly a report, as requested, would be made available to the Honourable Prime Minister.

“Trinidad and Tobago’s solidarity with the people of Dominica is without question. […] The position presented at the OAS is not aligned with the actions, policy or orientation of Trinidad and Tobago towards Dominica.”

Photo: Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses (left) toasts with France Ambassador Hedi Picquart on Bastille Day.
(Copyright Foreign.Gov.TT)

Mr Live Wire cannot confirm that immediately after Moses and Daniel referred to Phillip-Spencer as “a public official,” a cock crowed three times.

So will Rowley stand up for his Ambassador, whose name is now mocked throughout the Caribbean and is a curse word in Dominica?

Or are Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and sidekick Stuart Young preparing a pay-off and non-disclosure agreement as we speak?

Incidentally, Cricket Australia banned Smith and his vice-captain David Warner from international cricket for one year as a result while Bancroft got a nine-month ban.

When your Government’s ministers lack the moral fibre to get into an Australian cricket team, you know you’re on a sticky wicket.

But then, judging from what Trinidad and Tobago has witnessed in Cabinet over the last decade, you were always more likely to see a rabbit lay a chocolate egg than a display of integrity and accountability from that lot.

Photo: The Hand of God?
Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith (right) takes a hands-on approach with a then staff member.
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About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. Warning: Undefined variable $userid in /www/wired868_759/public/wp-content/plugins/user-photo/user-photo.php on line 114

    Everything on this site needs to be taken with a grain of salt. After the Dillon fake news – nothing is to be taken as having any proper evidential backing

  2. if you have the smallest bit of wisdom one will stay clear of commenting on these things mainly because social media and the other sources sometimes don’t have the facts be wise

  3. Oh Good Lord! Can’t we get anything right??

  4. The real issue here is the absence of leadership both by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassador. The video clip showed the Ambassador’s clear discomfort but he continued to represent a position which he appeared not to support. Had I been in the position, I would have offered support to Dominica and packed my bags to return home. Why is it so difficult for persons to do what is right and face the consequences? Repairing our reputation with Dominica will take forever. This was not such a high risk diplomatic matter! We need a different kind of leader at all levels. The days of the “yes men” are over. We must do what is right because it is the right thing to do.

  5. Once again the quality of the article is great.! Gj

  6. So “Nutcase” Moses had a relapse and mistakenly thought that the vote was for Lyrica to be introduced during his feeding time. Prime Minstrel, I blame you for this debacle, it seems that you were more intent in being the ringmaster at the circus rather than a Prime Minister. What else would explain your selections of Garcia, Moses, Smith, Cudjoe, Robinson-Regis, Scoon, Dillon and Ferris-Wheel.

  7. Love the article . Clearly this sounded like Imbert influence on Moses. Bad mind at its worst .

  8. This article was murderous. Nah boy. Lol

  9. What kind of of integrity do these men in the administration have ?Heaven help us in this country.

  10. See the hypocrisy half of them who’s talking now, remember did not want no Dominicans to come here after the hurricane.

    • True, when i read that i was asking myself what has happened to the country i fell in love with 22 Years ago… it is very different to 1996 when i first set foot on this then beautiful island and met its friendly helpful people. Not much left of that…

    • And the other half who wanted them to come did not want the Haitians to come, when ANR was in charge. So when you add it all up, everyone is a hypocrite. But this anti humanitarian move is the WORST.

  11. i still cannot ketch myself and the people who i spoke to dont seem to care we have gotten so cold hearted that i want to scream what when wrong this government is not representing this country well and we are not demanding that they do

  12. That sums up the betrayal of the red balisier toting brigade of the people of Trinidad and Tobago fire go bun dem minister moses at the head of the bunnery

  13. We always play safe. Nothing new.

  14. You must have the testicular fortitude to call a spade a spade and maintain your integrity; I know it may be difficult but sometimes you have to be steadfast.Character must always prevail.

  15. Trinidad and Tobago Ministers of Government witnessed Andrew Ramroop OBE CMTT switch a charity fund raiser for Dominica into a Fashion show with our PM as the star on his catwalk.
    Did they ever really care about Dominica?

  16. Moses make dat decision i feel in Bimbert

  17. What d Ambassador made sense.defer payments d problem was d other countries vote to cancel it.


  19. Another diplomatic blunder. Let’s see who will be held accountable.

  20. Go where. All ah dem should go but we no dey ah goin noway

  21. brilliantly written. senior public servants always throwing their subordinates under the bus. Moses should be ashamed. “Yuh hear lie? Dat is lie.”

  22. Nice to have the whole sordid affair in one article. Clearly Moses didn’t just push Spencer in front the bus. He then jumped in the driver’s seat himself and rolled over him a couple times I just waiting for him to shoot the medics who running to bring the stretcher for the retired Brig

    • Moses say with a straight face that a former career soldier with rogue yes. That must have stung the ambassador as much as their callous position on Dominica.

    • “A suggestion by a public servant at an OAS meeting that Dominica’s dues not be collected at this time but be deferred to some future time in no way reflects any change in the demonstrated concern of Trinidad and Tobago for the welfare of the people of Dominica.”
      From the ministry’s statement.
      The man called him a “public servant” yes! A retired brigadier general no less. I starting to wonder what poor Spencer did to deserve this? It being Easter an all he might be in need of some prayers.

    • Nothing diplomatic about this PR fiasco nah. As I am sure the professor and Maryanne drafting the NDA as we speak.

    • I know we don’t like Moses and we do like drama, but isn’t the public servant Foreign Service Officer III Akilah Seale?

    • Colin, Seale was dictating the Ministry’s position and not her own. The correspondence from the Ambassador was sent to the Permanent Secretary. And yesterday’s Press Release went out by the Minister.
      I don’t have any feelings one way or the other about Moses myself.

    • Colin Robinson I believe the foreign service officer can be described as s public servant. But that ministry’s release referred to what was said at the OAS meeting. The quote refers to the Ambassador who articulated the Trinidad position as a “public servant”

    • Ok. I thought Colin was suggesting that Seale was dictating her own whims to the Ambassador. But I follow your interpretation now Rose.

    • What I finding kind of strange in all this is. Is an ambassador merely a messenger? I have to admit I don’t know the inner workings of the foreign service but I would think an ambassadors job would be a little more than ” aye dey have a vote coming up….tell mih what to say nah”. And then being told what to say do you just go out and say it? Or can you not come up with your own position to defend and pitch that to your boss and say “this is what I think we should do/say”. Taking into account Dominica’s devastation, public sentiment here and in the region and the trifling amount of the fees in relation to the OAS annual budget? Not to mention the fact that ALL the other countries thought the request was reasonable enough to accommodate? Is this a messenger wuk??

      • Scotty Ranking

        Had this discussion with my mother and she brought up the same point. Given how the sentiment from every other member was to waive the fee, in light of the unparalleled devastation Dominica faced, could Phillip-Spencer have abandoned the prepared script and assented to the motion as proposed? Given the backlash from stating the official position, it might be that the ambassador could then not have been fired thereafter for it as the tide of public opinion in his favour would be overwhelming (much like it is now over the stated position). Given his prior career as a soldier, it is doubtful that Phillip-Spencer – on his own – would deviate from expressed orders.

        That e-mail chain effectively makes a mockery of Moses’ subsequent statement on the matter; the Ambassador clearly and apparently with absolutely no relish at all for the task did as he was unequivocally told.

        I remember once being asked years ago to represent a North Division school (to which I had no affiliation other than being a friend of their PE teacher) at a SSFL meeting. On one of the agenda items, I was expressly told to find out what was the consensus position on the issue and vote accordingly. I doubt our Ambassador ever had (or would have) that kind of leeway.

    • Yeah, yeah. My bad. Too much Good Friday drinking and eagerness to have an opinion on my part. The pubic official and public servant clearly refer to the same person at the OAS meeting. I thought the Ambassador and the FSO were both being indicted.

    • Colin so I’m guessing you not in church doing Stations of the Cross and penance ?

    • He’s no public servant, but a political appointee..smh

    • Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde . Well, we must have a Good Friday bobolee tuh beat up.

  23. Anyone who has visited , worked within the Dominican community knows this is a criminal act no apology can assuage..And let us NOT focus on Mr. Moses..This was not a conscience or free vote..He was following policy directive.

  24. What is there to investigate about the Ambassador’s position? The gentleman implicitly followed the instructions given to him. They should have a chat with the Minister and his staff for the cock up. Thanks Lasana for bring this incident to the fore.

  25. Scotty Ranking

    Can you imagine the scene? Steve Smith watching Dennis Moses and saying, “Nah, dog, nah. Even we have minimum standards we cannot go below.. Drive that bus by your damn self.”

  26. Methinks Dennis Moses investigating the Ambassador’s stance at the OAS is akin to Darryl Smith investigating allegations of sexual misconduct at the Sport Ministry…
    But dais jes me…

  27. CORRECTION: Mr Live Wire cannot confirm that immediately after Moses and Daniel referred to Phillip-Spencer as “a PUBIC official”, a cock crowed three times.

    Anna Ramdass, Express: “The first release from the Ministry was issued at 1.03 p.m. with an error ‘pubic’ instead of ‘public official’. A second release was issued at 1.15 p.m. with the same error and finally a third release at 1:34 p.m. with a corrected ‘public’.”

    • Earl Best

      They should have let the error stand. O, alternatively, changed it to ‘anal’ because that has to be the handiwork of a complete asshole!

    • Earl Best

      Confusion all around. The writer of the release might have been thinking not of the Ambassador but of his boss.

      Probably not! That would not have been ‘pubic’ but ‘anal.’

    • Lasana Liburd

      Indeed Colin… Mr Live Wire consider a “pubic” beatdown for the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs for that one. But we wanted to reciprocate their remarkable generosity to the less fortunate. 😉

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