Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 17th 2017 Contents SHALIZA HASSANALI
Venezuelans residing in T&T
joined with hundreds of thou-
sands nationals across the globe
yesterday in a symbolic rejection
of embattled President Nicolas
Maduro's plans to rewrite the
The rejection was done via a vot-
ing system at Arima, Port-of-Spain,
Chaguanas and Tobago where over
1,800 Venezuelans residing in T&T
cast their votes in an opposition
referendum, objecting to Madu-
Voting was opened from 7 am and
closed at 4 pm.
In May, Maduro issued a decree
for writing a new constitution
which has led to a political crisis that
has drawn hundreds of thousands
of anti-government protesters in
the streets of Caracas over the last
In the last few months Venezuela
has been faced with an economic
crisis which has led to a shortage
of food and widespread looting.
Clashes between protesters and
police have left at least 93 people
dead, 1,500 wounded and more than
500 behind bars, according to the
latest AP report.
Andreina Briceno who spoke on
behalf of the the movement Mesa
De La Unidad said the votes would
reject and ignore the realisation of
a National Constituent Assembly
proposed by Maduro without the
proper approval of its people.
It also demands the National
Armed Forces or public servant to
obey and defend the Constitution
Last night the votes were sent to
Venezuela to be recounted.
Of the four locations the votes
were cast, Briceno who supervised
voting in Arima said Port-Spain
captured 1,025 with Chaguanas
attaining over 500, while Tobago
received the least with 50.
Briceno said they wanted to go
back to a democratic system where
they could vote and elect those who
could manage the country for the
best interests of its citizens.
The success of the opposition's
symbolic referendum will be meas-
ured by how many millions partic-
Democratic Unity, a coalition of
some 20 opposition parties, has
printed 14 million ballots for voters
inside and outside the country of 31
million people. Few expect turnout
that high but analysts say participa-
tion by more than 8 million people
would significantly hike pressure on
The government calls the oppo-
sition vote a manipulation aimed at
destabilising the country, and has
been urging its supporters to partic-
ipate in the constitutional assem-
bly, which it calls a way of restoring
peace to Venezuela.
Monday, July 17, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Venezuelans in T&T
vote against Maduro
Biker killed in crash, daughter, 15, critical
Crane operator Nich-
olas "BJ Dan"Paul was
killed and his teenage
injured when a car
slammed into his mo-
torcycle close to his Re-
form Village, Gaspar-
illo home on Saturday.
Paul, 37,was taking his
daughter Nicolette, 15, for
a short ride on the Suzuki
Hayabusa motorcycle he
purchased three weeks
ago, something he was
accustomed to doing,
when tragedy struck.
According to a police
report, a white Honda
Elantra was overtaking
vehicles along the Reform
Bypass Road, nearthe Bri-
an Lara Academy, when
it came into the path of
Paul's motorcycle, which
was heading in the oppo-
Upon impact, Paul and
his daughter were thrown
from the motorcycle,
which broke into pieces.
Paul's father, Deodath
Paul, along with other
relatives, rushed to the
scene where they saw
Paul's lifeless body. His
daughter was bleeding
from her injuries, but
she was conscious.
Nicolette, a pupil of
the Gasparillo Second-
ary School, is warded at
the Intensive Care Unit of
the San Fernando General
Hospital while the driv-
er of the car is warded in
a stable condition.
Wiping away his tears
at his Reform Village
home, Deodath Paul said
Paul's daughterasked her
Venezuelan national Barbara Gomez casts her vote on Venezuela's
political crisis and opposition referendum on government plans to
rewrite the constitution yesterday at Black Box, Murray Street,
Woodbrook. PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
CAL deploys jets to transport passengers
Plane talks break down
AND RHONDOR DOWLAT
The Ministry of Labour's hands
are tied in bringing a resolution to
the ongoing strike action taken by
Caribbean Airlines pilots.
This was confirmed by Labour
Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus
yesterday when asked if she intended
to intervene to resolve the weekend
protest taken by pilots.
"First to begin, I cannot intervene
based on the Industrial Relations
Act... outlines the conditions under
which I intervene in any dispute. And
neither of the parties (CAL and T&T
Airline Pilots Association---TTALPA)
have requested my intervention at this
time," the minister said.
Baptiste-Primus said based on in-
formation received "the pilots have
agreed to go back to work."
But when told that yesterday's
strike triggered a delay of several
flights to and from Tobago, as well
St Lucia, Baptiste-Primus said if this
was the case "you don't need rocket
science to work that out...that they
have not really gone back to work."
The body representing the protest-
ing pilots, the T&T Airline Pilots As-
sociation (TTALPA) was invited to a
meeting with the chairman and vice
chairman of the CAL board yester-
day to engage in further discussion.
However, T&T Guardian understands
that talks broke down.
CAL pilots are refusing to fly the
five ATRs for the airline because of
the airline's total refusal to address
serious safety issues and concerns
they have raised.
Since Friday, a number of flights
had to be cancelled and were delayed
due to the airline's pilot refusing to
operate the company's ATR aircraft
which they say have been experienc-
ing constant technical problems.
At the Tobago's terminal and Piarco
International Airport yesterday many
passengers whose flights were delayed
complained of waiting for hours.
Last Sunday, a CAL flight crew had
to make an emergency landing at He-
wanorra International Airport in St
Lucia after a warning light came on.
Two days later another ATR aircraft
scheduled to fly to St Lucia faced
technical problems and passengers
were forced to disembark and utilise
CAL's communications manager
Dionne Ligoure yesterday confirmed
the flight delays. Ligoure said several
flights from Trinidad to Tobago and
vice versa as well as its lone St Lucia
flight were delayed.
"In the airline business when you
have delays running one after the oth-
er you would expect spill overs into
the next day and we have had delays
today as well. But that was expect-
ed." Ligoure could not say how many
flights were delayed.
She said a flight to Barbados may
have been affected as well.
"I know last night Grenada went
on time and it came in on time this
morning. We have engaged the ATR
aircraft and we are using jets to sup-
plement the operation. We have put
on the service to minimise disruption
to the confirmed passengers." She said
all confirmed passengers were treated
father to take her for a
ride. "He was home and
he just drive out to take
his daughter for aride by
When the accident
happened, he said, Nico-
lette asked someone to
call her relatives.
"I asked her 'Darling,
you have pain.' She said
yes, her belly and she hold
her chest. She had a big
cut on her foot and her
pelvic bone was push-
Nicolette asked for her
father and still does not
know that he died.
Paul's sister Roxanne
Dookhantie, said the
doctors performed sur-
gery on Nicolette, but
they still had to run scans
Dookhantie said her
brother owned about six
previous motorcycles and
never had an accident.
"He was a safe driver,"
his father said.
Dookhantie added that
her brother had a list of
goalswhich he complet-
ed, includingbuilding his
house and doingrenova-
planned to do he did
it.The last thing he want-
ed, his bike," she said.
Paul wholived close to
his parents' home was
married and had another
daughter, age 16.
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