Express Editorial : Daily

Having been exposed by the United States Ambassador, National Security Minister Stuart Young has mounted an embarrassing attempt to insult the intelligence of the population in a desperate bid to save his skin.

He misled Parliament and the people on his conversation with Ambassador Joseph Mondello and the only question to be answered now is whether the Prime Minister is involved in this shameful attempt to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. The fact that Dr Rowley has not yet fired Minister Young puts the spotlight squarely on him and his own role in the unfolding saga of his meeting on March 27 with the Vice President of Venezuela.

No reasonable person could read the statement issued by Ambassador Mondello and believe Minister Young’s assertion in Parliament that “there was no raising of the breaching of any Treaty.” Indeed, the ambassador’s account of the May 6 meeting indicates that breach of the Rio Treaty was, in fact, the nub of their discussions. This is evident from his statement that he had “expressed concern to the Minister in that conversation about the consistency of Delcy Rodriguez’s visit to Port of Spain with Trinidad and Tobago’s obligations as a party to the Rio Treaty.” He went on to note that “Article 20 of the Rio Treaty makes it unambiguously clear that all measures imposed by the Organ of Consultation—like the travel restrictions on Ms Rodriguez—are binding on all treaty parties, whether or not they voted in favour of such measures.”

The issue at stake here is not, as some are framing it, about T&T’s sovereignty or our right to align ourselves with countries and leaders of our choice. That argument is nothing but a politically expedient distraction from the real issue of the Government’s mismanagement of T&T’s foreign affairs which has placed the country in an invidious position in the US-Venezuela confrontation, the Government’s lack of transparency in its dealings with Venezuela, and now the bold-faced misrepresentation of its meeting with the representative of another government, in this case the United States.

This newspaper is on record as repeatedly affirming our sovereignty and position of non-alignment which, given the geopolitics being played out on our doorstep, requires the strategic intelligence to walk the diplomatic tightrope and not be bungled into a situation beyond our control by amateurs.

Every disturbing fact that has emerged about the March 27 meeting was information suppressed by a Government that appears to believe it could get away with prevarication and repeated pleas of ignorance. Now Stuart Young is asking the public not to believe the evidence of its own ears and eyes and to accept being fooled because he was trying to do what was “proper”.

This charade has gone on long enough. Minister Young has lost all credibility and must go now. In the context of the serious challenges facing the post-Covid economy, the Government needs to stop digging itself and T&T into a hole and get the country back on track.


World Environment Day 2020 arrives with the news that notwithstanding the dramatic Covid-19-induced reduction in carbon emissions, the level of carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest in recorded history.

Let me restate my point of view that genuine recovery depends on a few key things: 1. Managing the Survival Phase; 2. Restoring Closed Businesses; 3. Recoup and Retrieval for Businesses as they open; 4. A National Recovery Strategy; 5. Immediate Action of Economic Restructuring, 6. Building a New Economy post Covid.

As T&T’s most prominent columnist, I often get bombarded with questions from fans wanting expert advice on complicated subject matters. For example, Kathy, who works at Scotiabank Credit Card Centre, writes: “Dear Darryn, your failure to reply leaves us with no choice but to commence legal proceedings.”

“Every politician who has tasted power, and many who counted for little, has gone to war with the media. If they didn’t, that would signal that journalists were not doing their jobs, that they were too busy prostrating to power to do their duty to country.”

Here in sweet T&T, we have jumped on the US bandwagon and have stood up and expressed our diverse views on the ongoing racial tension in the US, but I ask us to step back and look at our country.

It’s been a bad week in the United States: six nights of protests, huge anger, rioting and looting in 50 cities, hundreds arrested or injured—but only six dead over the police murder of George Floyd. The number may have gone up by the time you read this, but it’s definitely not 1968 again.