Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

 Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley 

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday rejected claims of Government dictatorship and insisted that there has been no Government-imposed restriction on the media.

In a statement on the Office of the Prime Minister’s (OPM) social media page yesterday, Rowley said there has been no other Prime Minister who has “consistently spent more hours before the local media fielding questions to the media’s exhaustion”.

He added: “Any casual observation that is not motivated by hysteria or bias will conclude that there is no anti-media restriction in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. On the contrary, it cannot be truthfully disputed that this Government has been more accessible to the media than most.”

His statement came days after a report on News at 7, which stated that Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Communications Minister Symon De Nobriga admitted that Government only invited TTT to Saturday’s repatriation of 700 Venezuelans.

The repatriation exercise took place at the Cruise Ship Complex in Port of Spain.

In an interview with the Express earlier this week, De Nobriga said the exercise was arranged by the Venezuelan Embassy. He said OPM was not involved in media invitations and did not prohibit media outlets from attending.

In his statement yesterday, Rowley said TTT was a small part of local media and was “certainly not the Government of Trinidad and Tobago...therefore it is an unnecessary stretch to interpret any misunderstanding or operational mix-up there as a label for the Government.

“Additionally, every Ministry and most public sector departments have separate communication units which are always open to the media. These being the undisputed facts, allegations of dictatorship and Government restrictions are rejected.”

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