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UNC – US Department of State warns Trinidad and Tobago doing business with Venezuela

By Caribbean News Global contributor

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — The United National Congress (UNC) is of the view that given the uncertainties of the post-COVID global economy and its negative impact on Trinidad and Tobago, “it is critical that the Dr KeIth Rowley-led administration develops a well thought out foreign policy rooted in our national interest, which advances our economic wellbeing and investment climate, minimizes conflict with our largest trading partners and is not at variance with the majority of hemispheric states that are members of the Organisation of American States (OAS).”

The UNC, Naparima member of parliament and former ambassador to the United Nations, Rodney Charles, announced:

“Principal deputy assistant secretary, US Department of State Department, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs has advised Trinidad and Tobago business community to comply with US sanctions warned against trading with Venezuela; provided a list of Venezuelan officials, businesses and marine vessels subject to US sanctions.

“It is critical that the Trinbagonian business community track and comply with US sanctions to the full extent possible. Chung made these comments yesterday at AMCHAM’s annual general meeting – an online event given COVID-19 restrictions. Confirming that Trinidad and Tobago foreign policy on Venezuela remain high on the US State Department’s radar, and in the light of Trinidad and Tobago official position that it is not bound by sanctions imposed by the Rio Treaty.

Chung pointed out that Trinidad and Tobago was the biggest beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Initiative’s trade preferences which allowed $5 billion of Trinidad and Tobago products, duty-free access to US markets since 2013.

Her warnings followed a statement by the minister of foreign and CARICOM affairs, Dennis Moses, that Trinidad and Tobago was not bound by the Rio Treaty and recent sanctions imposed against Venezuela.

“The US Embassy has advised that Trinidad and Tobago is bound by the Rio Treaty and sanctions imposed by it against neighboring Venezuela; has the option to leave. The process takes two years.”



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