Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, has dismissed calls from the leader of the opposition to admit that he has defied US sanctions and sold oil to Venezuela.
Rowley said it was a “dishonest last gasp and gamble of a dangerously delusional woman” a statement by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar calling on him “to come clean and tell this country the true state of this possibly illegitimate fuel shipment” to Venezuela.
Rowley said that the “rant” by Persad Bissessar “is not new” and that as “a desperate and failing Opposition Leader it has become abundantly clear that it is the United National Congress’s position that for them to succeed the country must fail.
“It matters not what they have to do to bring about such failure but fail we must according to them,” Rowley said.
Persad Bissessar issued a lengthy statement in which she expressed “serious alarm” at a Trinidad Guardian newspaper report that the United States was “probing our country over a Trinidad and Tobago fuel shipment linked to Venezuela”.
“If true, our country’s very economic survival is at stake. This since, as our longstanding and greatest global ally, any such rift could gravely damage our very beneficial trade, national security, and foreign relations with the United States.”
Persad Bissessar said that since January 2019, the Nicolas Maduro government in Caracas has been “deemed illegal, brutal and corrupt by the US”.
The Trinidad Guardian said that they had become aware of reports that a shipment of fuel from the Trinidad-based Paria Fuel Trading Company had been sold to Aruba and eventually sent to Venezuela in defiance of US sanctions.
It said that the Aruban refinery is linked to Citgo, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA and reports surfaced last week that the fuel cargo was shipped to Venezuela after it arrived in Aruba.