Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2014 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, October 27, 2014
Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz says
taxpayers will save close to $100 million
when the Port Authority converts the inter-
island ferries from diesel to liquefied nat-
ural gas (LNG).
"It should have been done many years
ago," he said, as he outlined plans for
improving sea travel between Trinidad and
Tobago. Cadiz said new and bigger ferries
to handle more cargo and passengers will
The minister, who spoke at the launch
of Ansa Automotive s new Ford Motors
showroom at Charles Street, Port-of-Spain,
on Saturday evening, highlighted key ini-
tiatives as Government moved closer to
establishing the Transit Authority of T&T
(TATT). Cadiz also said that transforming
Piarco International and the Arthur NR
Robinson airports into world class facilities
was a major priority.
"There is a lot of work going on in the
Ministry of Transport. We are hoping to
engage T&T in this fix, because it is a major
fix. We have the new Transit Authority (of
T&T) that is coming on stream which will
tie in all the different types of public trans-
port that we have," he sad.
Cadiz, who described transport as a sci-
ence which was aligned to the growth of
every national economy, said his ministry s
strategic agencies were all being revamped
to ensure greater reliability of service to the
consumer, while improving the aesthetics
of vehicles and hubs for productivity.
"There is a whole business involving
transport. I am very much pleased to be
part of a Government that is bringing the
Motor Vehicle Authority (MVA) on stream,
which is going to change the way which we
do business on the roads. So whether or
not you re a motor car dealer, driver, motor
car owner, there is a whole new way that
we are going to be doing business," he said.
"The MVA is going to be state-of-the-art
facility where we expect your time at any
one of the 13 offices---some full access, some
limited access---to be ten to 15 minutes max-
imum. That is the mark that we are using.
Once you have all the information, you will
no longer be taking a day off from work to
go and do business in the licensing office.
"Representatives of the car companies
will be licensing their vehicles in a facility
like this. It is no longer necessary for this
convoy going down to the licensing office
to be inspected. So we are going to revo-
lutionise the way we do business in trans-
port," he said.
The minister also announced that diplo-
matic license plates would soon be issued
in T&T. he said since 1962, the diplomatic
corps had been asking for diplomatic
(license) plates on their official vehicles.
Despite that positive development, Cadiz
admitted that the issue of PH drivers, who
are now common on the nation s roads, and
the recent proliferation of "white band maxi
taxis" are challenges for the Government.
He added: "I am practically living in PTSC
these days revamping the bus company. The
bus company provides transport to 14 million
passengers a year and yet still PTSC is a
very challenging job, making it work prop-
erly. We will get it working. We will get
PTSC fixed. It is achievable and we will get
Cadiz: $100m in savings
from LNG ferries
Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz, left, shares a light moment with David Sabga, deputy
chairman, Ansa McAl Group and Sieunarine Persad-Coosal, executive chairman, Coosal
Group of Companies at the official launch of the new Ford showroon in Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: SEAN NERO
Shantie Samuel, right, of SMS Orchids, gives Lynette Welch tips on how to care for her new orchid during the T&T Orchid Society's
57th show, Orchid Explosion, at Ambassador Hotel, St James, yesterday. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Cuban Ambassador to T&T Guillermo Vazquez
Moreno is calling on the US Government to end,
once and for all, the economic, commercial and
financial blockade imposed against Cuba.
He made the call ahead of the filing tomorrow
of resolution 68/8 of the United Nations General
Assembly, For the 23rd time, Cuba will be pre-
senting to the General Assembly a draft resolution
titled: Necessity of Ending the Economic, Com-
mercial and Financial Embargo Imposed by the
United States of America.
"Cuba s report to the UN Secretariat about
application of resolution 68/8 contains numerous
examples of the damages caused by the embargo
on the Cuban people during the period of April
2013-June 2014 and on such vulnerable sectors
as health, education and food," said Moreno.
The ambassador said sai not only did the official
ban remain but he the US Government was making
it more stringent. As a result, trade and commercial
activity continued to be severely affected and
Cuba was unable to freely export and import
products and services to and from the US.
"Cuba cannot use the US dollar in its interna-
tional financial transactions or have accounts in
that currency in third country banks. Nor is it
permitted to access bank credits in the US, from
its affiliates in third countries or from international
financial institutions such as the World Bank,
International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the Inter-
American Development Bank (IDB)," he said.
In addition, ships landing in Cuban ports can
only enter US ports after 180 days.
Moreno said over the years the embargo has
placed a serious dent in Cuba s economic, social
and cultural development and sustainability.
He made reference to how it has affected gold
mining in Cuba: "Based on very conservative esti-
mates and considering the depreciation of the
dollar in comparison to the price of gold on the
international market, has reached the figure of US
$1,112,534 million despite the reduced price of gold
as compared to the previous year, At current, prices
during all these years the embargo has caused
damages for more than US$116,880 million."
The ambassador said the mega debt of US$8,970
million imposed on French bank BNP Paribas was
not an exceptional occurrence but part of the
strengthening of financial harassment against
Cuba which has adversely affected countless finan-
cial institutions that have tried to maintain rela-
tionships with Cuba.
Moreno said since 2004, the total value of fines
imposed by the US on foreign and American finan-
cial institutions, because of their continued rela-
tionships with Cuba and other countries,has
reached US$11.5 billion.
Cuban Ambassador to T&T:
The United States embargo against Cuba
began on October 19, 1960, almost two years
after the Batista regime was deposed by the
Cuban Revolution. Initially the embargo was on
exports to Cuba, except for food and medicine.
On February 7 1962, it was extended to include
almost all imports.
Currently, the Cuban embargo is enforced
mainly with six statutes: the Trading with the
Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of
1961, the Cuba Assets Control Regulations of 1963,
the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms--
Burton Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions
Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.
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