The government has expressed concern about a Level-4 advisory issued by the United States against Trinidad and Tobago.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) acknowledged that the same level of advisory, “Do Not Travel”, was applied by the State Department to over 130 countries, developed and developing, across the world.
It added that the United States of America, like other sovereign nations, must take measures to guide and protect its citizens during these unprecedented and unpredictable times, especially in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the OPM expressed particular concern with the “terrorism” label in the advisory.
It said such a term does not accurately reflect the situation in Trinidad and Tobago.
It said: “That notwithstanding, Trinidad and Tobago must register our disagreement and concern with some of the statements made in the current advisory, particularly as “terrorism” is not a specific feature of any current threat within our shores. We would expect that the United States, which is not unfamiliar with the face of homegrown terrorism, would reconsider the association of such a term with Trinidad and Tobago as it certainly does not accurately reflect the local realities.”
Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister also responded to statements made by the United National Congress (UNC).
In a press release on Friday, the Opposition noted that the US Embassy advised its citizens to avoid areas that have previously been identified as “criminal hotspots” near the capital including Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite and the interior of the Queen’s Park Savannah.
According to the UNC, these areas have been ruled by the People’s National Movement (PNM) since 1956 and reflects “65 years of dereliction of duty and abuse of trust”.
It added that this further represents the ruling party’s inability to protect the nation as a whole.
In response, the OPM described the UNC’s comments as “highly reckless.”
It said: “By its highly reckless and irresponsible public utterances and publications, the UNC leadership has made it abundantly clear, yet again, that they are never prepared to defend the interests of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The OPM added: “On the contrary, in their obscene haste to seize upon any opportunity for political mischief and misinformation, they have sought to make political benefit out of another serious national issue and not surprisingly it has backfired spectacularly and has drawn the appropriate condemnation. Incapable of sober and mature reflection on any matter of national importance, the Opposition again lept into the fray with the most trite and ill-conceived media releases, and they have now deservedly found themselves in the unfortunate position of scrambling to save face, after attempting to confirm anything negative being said or portrayed about our nation, with no regard whatsoever for accuracy or context.”
Originally Appeared On: http://www.looptt.com/content/govt-slams-terrorism-label-us-travel-advisory-chastises-unc