Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 27th 2015 Contents KEVON FELMINE
While Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar and
Venezuelan President Nicolas
Maduro have agreed to barter
goods, trade in Cedros has
already increased over the
past few months.
With Venezuela s deepening
economic crisis, officials from
the Immigration Division,
Customs and Excise Division
and shop owners said more
Venezuelans are flocking to
T&T for items, such as milk,
diapers, flour and laundry
detergent, to take back to their
country which has been suf-
fering from a shortage of basic
Cedros, which is T&T s
closest legal entry point from
South America, recorded 424
people arriving at the port last
month as opposed to 211 last
December. He said the arrivals
for this month were almost
the same as last month.
Immigration Officer Keith
Lewis said there were only a
few arrivals that were locals
returning from Venezuela.
He said the majority of
Venezuelans came to buy
items in T&T because of high
"Most of them would come
and buy onions, garlic, diapers
and toilet paper.
"They said things are hard
in Venezuela and that goods
are cheaper and more available
"All foreign vessels that
come to south Trinidad come
through Cedros. Sometimes
three to four boats come daily
with people coming to shop
and take back goods while a
few of them visit family mem-
"Some shop owners and
boat owners take orders from
people across there and trans-
port it to them," Lewis added.
Customs and Excise offi-
cials said the visitors come
from the costal towns of
Tucupita, Perdinade and La
Guaira aboard pirogues.
For the Carnival weekend,
they recorded 180 arrivals. An
officer said most visitors stay
at relatives homes, who are
locals. He said that there was
a ferry service but that has
been out of commission since
Keron Guy, a supervisor at
Cedros Hardware and Grocery,
said most Venezuelans buy
goods from them as they are
located several 100 metres
from the port.
He said they came to the
village to buy basic items. He
said the increase in visitors
had been good for business.
President of the Icacos
Fishing Association Esook Ali
said it was a risk for some
buyers as many of them have
their good seized by Guardia
Nacional upon entry to
He said that the low value
of Venezuelan currency was
the reason why no one had
taken the opportunity to set
up extra business to cater for
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, February 27, 2015
Joint Consultative Council for the Construction
Industry (JCC) president Afra Raymond has failed
in his bid to adduce additional evidence in his
lawsuit seeking documents related to Government s
bailout of cash-strapped insurance giant Clico.
In a 14-page ruling delivered in the Port-of-Spain
High Court yesterday, Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh
dismissed the procedural application brought by Ray-
mond last September to buttress his case, which is
yet to go to trial.
Raymond was hoping to use the evidence, which
comprises several statements from former finance
minister Winston Dookeran and current minister
Larry Howai, to prove that they contradicted each
other and themselves over Government s position
on the multi-billion dollar bailout.
In rejecting Raymond s application, Boodoosingh
agreed with State attorneys who objected to it on
the grounds that it was filed late and the proposed
evidence was irrelevant to the case.
He also said the application would effectively call
upon the court to make findings against both min-
isters statements in Parliament, which would be a
breach of parliamentary privilege.
Raymond is seeking to compel the Ministry of
Finance to release the documents under the Freedom
of Information Act, which permits citizens to request
confidential documents from ministries and State
Raymond s initial request under the legislation in
2012 was denied on the ground that the documents
did not fall within the scope of the act as Clico was
a private company.
The documents requested by Raymond include
the company s audited financial records as well as
advice the Government received before it implemented
its policies on the bailout.
Raymond is being represented by Gilbert Peterson,
SC, and Kingsley Walesby, while Russel Martineau,
SC, and Gerald Ramdeen appeared for the State.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was
absent for yesterday s opening of Inter-Sessional
Heads of Government Conference in the Bahamas
due to flight problems.
So said press secretary Francis Joseph at yesterday s
post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the
Prime Minister, St Clair.
He said the PM s arrival in the Bahamas was delayed
because of a problem with Bahamas Air. No details
were given about the nature of the problem.
Joseph said Persad-Bissessar left T&T on Wednes-
day on Caribbean Airlines flight BW 480 for Fort
Lauderdale and arrived safely at that destination.
A release issued by Joseph subsequently said the
PM was due to travel on Bahamas Air at 8.30 pm
on Wednesday but the aircraft developed problems.
"At 10.30 pm, when the problems were not cor-
rected, the airline ruled out the possibility of flying,"
the release added.
Joseph said Persad-Bissessar and her delegation
remained in Fort Lauderdale for the night and arrived
around noon yesterday in the Bahamas.
Persad-Bissessar was represented at the opening
ceremony by Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dook-
Cedros always buzzing
with V'zuelan trade
PM, Maduro agree on barter pact but...
Venezuelan citizen Nidia Rodriguez waits to be cleared by Immigration officials at the Cedros port on Tuesday before returning to
Venezuela by pirogue. Nidia came to Trinidad to buy food items, toiletry and washing soap. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
delay PM's trip
to Caricom talks
JCC head fails in
bid to get papers
on Clico bailout
A petroleum dependant
country like T&T, Venezuela
has been hit with a recession
since the sharp decrease in
the price of oil and gas.
Figures released by the
country's central bank showed
the economy decline by 2.3
per cent in the third quarter of
last year and inflation had
reached 63.6 per cent, one of
the highest rates in the world.
Unrest broke out in the
country because of high levels
of violence, inflation and
shortages of basic goods,
including toilet paper.
On Tuesday, T&T and
Venezuela entered into an
agreement which would see
the Government purchasing
goods identified as essential
to Venezuela and exporting it
to that country. In return, they
would provide petroleum
products to T&T.
In an immediate response
to the agreement, Downtown
Owners and Merchants
president Gregory Aboud
warned Government about
bartering with Venezuela, due
the financial state of the
country and its failed
Vessels arriving.....................................50...............49 ............50..............57
Vessels departing ................................54...............46 ............49..............53
Passengers/Crew arriving ..........242............269 ...........211...........424
Passengers/Crew departing ......187.............183 ..........196 ...........391
TRAFFIC AT CEDROS PORT
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