National Security Minister Stuart Young has come in for a bashing from Barbados over the treatment of 33 TT nationals stranded there after they returned from a cruise to Dubai.
Barbados Today accused him of using "inflammatory and accusatory" language and "offensive" behaviour, as if Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley were teaming up with the Jamaat al Muslimeen to stage another coup attempt.
The TT travellers had to stay in Barbados, where they were quarantined, because of TT's closing the borders on March 22 to stem the spread of covid19,
The group returned last week and according to the Health Ministry, all tested negative for covid 19.
From an editorial published on Tuesday in Barbados Today, apparently Young's response to how the matter was handled did not go down well.
Last week Young complained that a Caricom country was a "jumping point" for TT nationals who still wanted to return home, compromising TT's border policy. The Barbados government said it was "very disturbed" by his comment.
Dr Keith Rowley said on Saturday that TT's relationship with Barbados was as good as it had ever been.
On Monday Young said he had not named the country he was referring to.
The editorial said Barbados prime minister Mia Mottley offered the group refuge in that country, and the group appealed to TT's Government to allow them to return home.
They eventually got permission from Young to return last week and have been quarantined again.
The Barbados Today editorial said: "Last week, the youthful minister Young, full of sound and fury, shocked many with his broadside against Barbados, suggesting that our Government may have been tacitly colluding with Trinidadian citizens, no less, to breach its border during the lockdown.
"Using such an inflammatory and accusatory word as 'infiltrate' to describe Barbados’ humanitarian effort, one would have thought Prime Minister Mottley was teaming up with Yasin Abu Bakr for another attempt to remove the duly elected government in Port of Spain. Of course, it’s absurd.
Likewise is the public stand taken by Young. Surely, there were other options open to the national security minister than the very public rebuke of Caricom kith and kin. To what end was this attack?"
The editorial said TT and Barbados have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship spanning many years, many Trinidadians and Tobagonians can trace their lineage to that country, and a number of Bajans have Trini roots.
"Indeed, many Bajans would argue that Trinidad has benefited more from the relationship than Barbados," it said.
The writer said it was not known whether Young's response was an attempt to "raise his profile in the Keith Rowley cabinet or whether his angst with Barbados is an appeal to the political base in an election year. We don’t have the answer but we find his handling of the matter offensive to the spirit and practical application of regional integration among two of Caricom’s founding members."
The writer said while many in the region and around the world were closely monitoring the novel coronavirus’s rapid spread two months ago, TT went ahead with Carnival 2020: "There was no social distancing, no quarantine, no temperature checks and no citizens were allowed to go and come – unless they had a rag, a flag or something liquid in their hands."
The writer said there was no doubt that PM Mottley was taking note of the unfolding saga.