Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 2nd 2017 Contents news A9
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Analyst: T&T will not intervene
Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ra-
goonath says T&T "will not seek
to intervene any way whatsoever"
as the Opposition intensifies pro-
tests against the Nicolás Maduro
Government in nearby Venezuela.
The are reports of food and medi-
cine shortages in the South American
nation and the Opposition there is
calling for early presidential elec-
Venezuelan nationals living in T&T
staged a lunchtime protest outside
their embassy in Port-of-Spain last
Friday. They knelt on the pavement
for a few minutes and prayed for God
to remove Maduro from office.
Contacted for comment yesterday,
Ragoonath said Venezuela was a sov-
ereign nation and he did not think
the T&T administration would seek
to intervene in the internal affairs of
He said however that there there
was already a significant increase of
Venezuelans in T&T.
He said he was unable to say how
many were here legally or illegally but
he said many of them were probably
working for less than the minimum
Ragoonath said he was not aware of
any Venezuelan applying for refugee
status here "but as far as I know they
are economic refugees," adding that
"they were taking menial jobs, that
too is going to impact negatively on
He said that will "compound the
problem that we have with them in
He said he was not prepared to say
whether a decision to not intervene
was right or wrong, adding that the
situation there should be monitored
He added: "The T&T Government
should also be cognisant of the un-
ease and the disruptions in the soci-
ety there and as things get harder in
Trinidad we may very well see those
sorts of things."
Calypso Rose in Paris hospital
Calypso Rose is resting in a
Paris hospital being treated for
a case of 'gout' but her manage-
ment says, there is nothing to
Gout is a form of inflammatory
arthritis characterised by recurrent
attacks of a red, tender, hot, and
Her manager Jean Michel Gilbert
said she was admitted on Friday and
will be discharged today.
He said the decision to have her
seek medical attention was precau-
tionary and there is no need for alarm
and that she remains in high spirits.
This is backed by a video clip being
shared on social media with Calypso
Rose singing one of her most popu-
lar songs, Fire Fire, to the delight of
Earlier this year Calypso Rose won
the World Album of the Year award
at the Victoire De La Musique Award
Ceremony in France, for her album
Far From Home.
The award is considered the French
equivalent of a Grammy Award.
Her 2017 Carnival offering Leave
me alone was a major hit and received
She is scheduled to perform in
France and across Europe soon.
Former head of the National
Operations Centre, Commander
Garvin Heerah, said ongoing vio-
lent protests against the Maduro
regime in Venezuela is "too close
for comfort" and is warning local
authorities to closely monitor de-
velopments there and reinforce
protection of T&T's borders.
"T&T's Border Control and Mar-
itime Wall needs to be strengthened
and enhanced and surveillance tech-
nology reviewed, upgraded and fo-
cused with a concentrated effort on
surrounding territorial waters.
"The utilization of a coordinated
joint agency approach must now be
seriously considered as the probabili-
ty of an even greater increase influx of
Venezuelans fleeing their homeland
for a better, safer and more secured
life here in T&T is real.
"The recent unrest in Venezuela
has seen a growing social push of
native Venezuelans away from their
homeland and we have already seen
an increased presence right here in
"Visits to central, south and south
western villages in Trinidad have
shown a high visibility of Venezuelan
men, women and children in these
Heerah added research has also
shown an increase in mainland ma-
rine traffic out of Tucupita and along
the Delta del Amacuro, the delta that
borders the Gulf of Paria.
Heerah said as a result of the mi-
gration of Venezuelans to T&T, there
is now a thriving mainland passage
service in the form of transport,
documents, safe houses and trade
at known spots.
"Further research has also pro-
duced known liaisons who traverse
between Tucupita and Guiria and
Cedros and other drop off points,
who solicit trade and traffic to and
from Trinidad and Tobago.
"Organised crime and criminal
trade are very prevalent in these ar-
More than two dozen people have
died in the Venezuela protests which
saw thousands of mostly middle class
demonstrators, angered by Venezue-
la's economic collapse and the gov-
ernment's style of rule, pouring into
the streets in recent weeks.
Latest reports say Venezuelans
from traditional chavista strong-
holds in the poorer neighbourhoods
are now joining them. The Trump ad-
ministration has begun to look at the
Venezuela situation hinting support
the Maduro regime.
Heerah responded to media ques-
tions on the matter at the launch of
a Safety, Security & Sustainability
Expo and Conference to be held by
Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and
Commerce and the National Security
Ministry in June.
He is a member of the Full Gospel
Heerah said the threat of the Vene-
zuelan "melt down" should be raised
at the Caricom level, as well, and se-
curity contingencies also need to be
explored from a regional standpoint.
"The ongoing civil unrest in Ven-
ezuela must be a grave concern not
only for T&T but for Caricom, espe-
cially as Guyana and Suriname are
joined to Venezuela by terrain borders.
"We cannot dismiss that this
scenario can also have a significant
economic impact in the Caribbean
as PetroCaribe holds a number of
Caricom nations with an umbilical
PetroCaribe is an oil alliance of
many Caribbean states with Vene-
zuela to purchase oil.
Former NOC head: Venezuela
situation too close for comfort
Bajan saxophonist Arturo Tappin performs during the Tobago Beach Jazz,
held at Turtle Beach, Tobago, Saturday afternoon. At right is Massy Trinidad
All Stars pannist Dane Gulston playing percussion. PHOTO: DAVID WEARS
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