Where does the escalating war of words between the U.S. and Venezuela leave Trinidad and Tobago? Well, if anyone had the displeasure of listening to the Foreign Affairs Minister speak on the issue late last week, they would be in a state of extreme ambiguity, like we are. His contribution to the issue on a television programme could be described as nothing short of wacky. And it leaves us in even deeper doubt over the appropriateness of Minister Denis Moses to address matters of national interest. Just have a look at some of the social media commentary from members of the public over the Minister’s latest utterances.
Rising tensions in Venezuela over the validity of recent elections, the Opposition Leader swearing himself in as interim President and the Guardia National’s position in the whole affair are valid causes for concern. And given our extremely close proximity to the mainland and the possible spill-over effects forus is all the more reason that this matter should be handled with a level of extreme clarity and professionalism. The confused and incomprehensible responses that the Minister delivered last week are exactly what we do not need. One may recall a similar response on television recently when the said Minister tried to skirt around what exactly happened when he was reportedly accused of trying to bypass a security check point at the airport.
The reported presence of Russian naval vessels in Caracas, warnings from China, Turkey and Russia to the U.S. to desist from meddling in the Venezuelan fiasco and President Trump’s open recognition of Opposition Leader, Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of the country is truly unsettling. What will be our plight if the situation escalates? We, being allies of both the United States and Venezuela and our location, practically a stone’s throw away from the South American nation could spell serious problems for all of us. Which side would we take? How would we handle a mass exodus of refugees? We need to know.
We have elected Cabinet-loads of politicians over the years who seem to enjoy the media spotlight. Always quick to hold a news conference or address the nation on less pertinent matters, always with smoke and mirrors. Now, with a Foreign Minister who seems to be able to speak in parables only, it may be prudent of the Prime Minister or the Communication Minister to step in immediately and untangle the web of bewilderment that has been created. It’s a situation too serious to be bungle. No one envies the KFC attendant who has to take minister Moses’ order.