Human rights activist and psychic Yesenia Gonzalez has threatened legal action against National Security Minister Stuart Young for saying that she and her son were fraudulently posing as Government officials to obtain information from nationals who were stranded in Venezuela.
A pre-action protocol letter dated July 29, 2020 was sent to Young citing a claim for defamation and malicious falsehood.
Gonzalez is seeking an apology via a news briefing as well as an apology circulated in the local newspapers and a settlement to be mutually agreed upon.
The pre- action letter reminded of Young's comments made in April this year at a news conference.
Young said "There is mischief afoot unfortunately in Venezuela right now ... with some of our nationals. I have been provided with information by our embassy in Caracas that Yesenia Gonzalez and her family have been calling persons in Margarita purporting to be from our government, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and representing our embassy, the embassy of Trinidad and Tobago and requesting personal information under the guise that they're organizing/or the Government's repatriation flight. There is absolutely no truth to that whatsoever".
Gonzalez, her husband and two sons were stranded in Margarita, Venezuela since March this year.
They returned in June and were quarantined at the Sangre Grande facility and then subsequently discharged.
The attorney stated that at no time did Gonzalez or her son pretend to be Government officials.
The letter stated that on March 23, an official of Rutaca Airlines contacted Gonzalez' son Lawrence Adams to ask how many passengers were at the hotel as the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy had requested that information.
"Mr. Adams informed him that there were four persons and submitted the names. In response to our client's son query as to a departure date, the airline representative replied that they had to wait on a response from the Embassy," stated the letter.
"Later that day, at the urging of our client's son, our client contacted the said Embassy official and spoke with him about the plight of those persons who were stranded. Among other matters, he indicated that he wanted to be sure that he had an accurate record of all such persons. He then asked our client if she can have representatives of the airline Rutaca and the travel agencies' tour guides call him. Our client was unable to contact Rutaca but arranged for a tour guide from Krystal Tours to communicate with the Embassy," stated the letter.
The letter added that
"At no point in time our client presented herself as an agent or representative of the State or any other organization. On the one occasion when our client was asked by a Krystal Tours representative, "who I was and who I worked for?", our client replied that she was just another 'pasajera', a passenger in English," the letter stated.
The legal letter added that since Young's press conference Gonzalez has been receiving "some of the most vile, obscene and insulting comments on social media as well as some persons expressing a desire that our client should die, all with the potential to do significant damage to her reputation,".
The letter noted that Gonzalez, a Venezuelan by birth, has been living in Trinidad since 1977 and is permanent resident of this country.