US Ambassador: I DID express concern to Young on Venezuelan visit! Embassy speaks out

“[…] Since the government has spoken publicly about my 6 May conversation with Minister [Stuart] Young, though, I wish to affirm that I expressed concern to the Minister in that conversation about the consistency of Delcy Rodriguez’s visit to Port of Spain with Trinidad and Tobago’s obligations as a party to the Rio Treaty…”

The following statement on the Trinidad and Tobago government’s hosting of a Venezuelan contingent led by vice-president Delcy Rodríguez was issued by Ambassador Joseph N Mondello—and appears to contradict statements on the topic by National Security Minister Stuart Young:

Photo: Minister of National Security Stuart Young prepares to face journalists at a virtual media conference on 7 May 2020.
(Copyright Ghansham Mohammed/GhanShyam Photography/Wired868)

Normally I do not comment on private conversations with host government officials. Since the government has spoken publicly about my 6 May conversation with Minister [Stuart] Young, though, I wish to affirm that I expressed concern to the Minister in that conversation about the consistency of Delcy Rodríguez’s visit to Port of Spain with Trinidad and Tobago’s obligations as a party to the Rio Treaty.

Article 20 of the Rio Treaty makes it unambiguously clear that all measures imposed by the Organ of Consultation—like the travel restrictions on Ms Rodríguez—are binding on all treaty parties, whether or not they voted in favour of such measures.

(Minister of National Security Stuart Young’s response:)

I have noted the statement by His Excellency Joseph N Mondello, United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, of today’s date. It appears that my response to an opposition question in the Senate on 13 May 2020 has been misconstrued.

On 13 May 2020 the Opposition asked a question in Parliament on whether the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is conscious of a statement issued by the United States Government concerning this country’s violation of the Rio Treaty.

I responded that: “we continue to have open channels of communication. In fact, last week the United States government’s head and top diplomat in Trinidad and Tobago, that is the ambassador, not any underling who may or may not be speaking to the media, the United States ambassador, had a conversation with me, as a representative of the Cabinet level of the government, and there were other conversations and there was no raising of the breach of any treaty.”

These words are what I stated and they are recorded in the Hansard. I never said that the Ambassador did not raise the visit of Venezuelan vice-president Delcy Rodríguez nor did I say that the Ambassador did not raise the Rio Treaty. What I said was the breach of treaty was not raised.

Photo: Venezuela vice-president Delcy Rodríguez.

The Ambassador did speak to me and I did not indicate what we spoke about. I do not believe it was proper to provide the details of our discussion.

The only thing I said, in response to a question raised in Parliament, was that no breach of the treaty was raised; meaning that it was not positively put to me that Trinidad and Tobago has breached the treaty.

The United States of America remains an important ally and we continue to have a good working relationship with mutual benefits to our two countries.

Editor’s Note: Venezuela vice-president Delcy Rodríguez is among several high ranking Venezuelan officials who are unilaterally sanctioned by the United States government.

Rodríguez visited Trinidad on 27 March in a meeting that involved Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, Minister of National Security Stuart Young and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dennis Moses.

More from Wired868
Daly Bread: Answers required for accountability in DPP imbroglio

Persons in public life frequently exercise power without accountability. As President Paula-Mae Weekes was recently demitting office, we were reminded Read more

Noble: What’s going on, with open season on Office of the DPP?

These days I feel like Marvin Gaye, the singer of the 1971 Billboard hit “What’s going on?” Confronted by the Read more

Noble: When will we hold accountable those “honourable” members who lead?

“When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.” Ecclesiastes 8: 11 Last week’s Read more

Daly Bread: Disgusting politicking with human trafficking undermines public trust

A disgusting exchange of sly political innuendos erupted and similar exchanges between politicians continued all last week over the possible Read more

Gilkes: Why T&T should be wary of USA’s “gift” of Venezuela’s Dragon Field

Is it too late to post this? Our 9-day memory cycle kicked in already? I was thinking we should forget Read more

Noble: The problem with vilifying Christine Kangaloo; and how it makes us poorer

Over the last two weeks, we have witnessed an unceasing commentary on Ms Christine Kangaloo’s supposed lack of fitness for Read more

About Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your letter between 300 to 600 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation. We don't publish anonymously unless there is a good reason, such as an obvious threat of harassment or job loss.

Check Also

Daly Bread: Answers required for accountability in DPP imbroglio

Persons in public life frequently exercise power without accountability. As President Paula-Mae Weekes was recently …

One comment

  1. Unless we have a reason not to believe His Excellency, then based on what Minister Stuart Young said with conviction and repeated several times, it would appear that he is not being honest. But, surely, Minister Young should have known that if not the Ambassador but someone at the US Embassy will correct whatever falsehood emerged from Young’s statements to the Media. So the question is why did he tell the Media that the Ambassador did not raise concerns of any kind regarding the sale of fuel? Will this jeopardize T&T’s relations with the United States and what will be the consequences. How will the Honourable Prime Minister deal with this big one? Will Young take another fall?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.