PM: Caricom never met with Trump

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

THE PRIME Minister says it was not Caricom that met with US President Donald Trump on March 22 in Florida on the Venezuela issue.

He was speaking yesterday during the Afternoon Drive programme on I95.5 FM.

Rowley said Caricom has 14 members and four countries (The Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia) were invited to a party together with Dominican Republic which is not a Caricom member.

“What about the ten that wasn’t invited? Isn’t that the issue? Isn’t that more Caricom? Ten people weren’t invited, why are we thinking that because four was invited that is Caricom? I see people on this station here, right here in this studio, saying that because TT was not among that four that we have somehow become diminished and we are isolated and all kind of nonsense.”

He continued: “The bottom line is Caricom, the body, of which all these nations are, chose a leadership group to deal with Venezuela issue."

He said this group was led by the chair of Caricom and Caricom had picked two other prime ministers for a three man-group which is authorised speak on issue, namely TT, Barbados and St Kitts and Nevis.

“If none of us invited Caricom not invited to a function then Caricom wasn’t invited. Is not TT that wasn’t invited.”

He said a piece of UNC annoyance on the Venezuela issue was that TT position is about Dragon gas and “we are taking this position to preserve some Dragon deal.”

“So what is Barbados preserving? What is Antigua preserving? How much dragon gas they intend to get? These are nations that have no connection to gas in Venezuela. They are Caribbean nations standing on the principle that we as Caricom have always declared our region, our sea, as a zone of peace.”

Rowley said the countries were invited to join the Lima group which is advocating regime change in Venezuela. He said TT, however, was advocating for a peaceful outcome as this would be sustainable and expressed concern the issue could become a "quagmire."

"The road with the best intentions has brought misery to people who thought they were being liberated."

On whether the relationship with TT and US was being affected Rowley said disagreements between countries is not a new thing and countries can be disagree and still be friends.

He said one of the agenda items of the meeting was to discuss China’s predatory presence in region.

"People are seeing the TT relationship with China as bothersome."

He added, however, that this country's relationship with China dates back to a visit by first prime minister Dr Eric Williams.


"PM: Caricom never met with Trump"

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