THERE was no official word yesterday as to when La Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxie Cuffie will return to TT. Cuffie suffered a stroke last September and has been recuperating at a hospital in Washington, DC, since then. While one media report claimed he could return either today or before the end of the week, government officials were unable to say when Cuffie would return. The Prime Minister had previously said Cuffie should return by the end of this month.
Yesterday, one senior government official maintained that Cuffie “is expected at month-end, barring any new developments.” A second government official was “not sure” when. A third official had “no information.” A fourth said the exact date of Cuffie’s return was unknown. In April, the first public photos of Cuffie since his illness were circulated on social media. Cuffie had surgery in May.
In a statement then, Cuffie said, “Following recuperation and a couple weeks of therapy, the neurosurgeon will advise on my ability to travel by commercial airline.” He added that he and his wife Hermia were eager to return home.
Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald replaced Cuffie as Public Administration and Communications Minister when Dr Rowley reshuffled the Cabinet on April 9. The communications portfolio was subsequently transferred to Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young. McDonald and Cuffie are now Public Administration Minister and Minister in the Public Administration Ministry respectively. McDonald is on sick leave, recuperating from pneumonia. Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan has been acting as caretaker MP for Cuffie’s constituency.