Goverment disagrees with terrorism comment in US advisory

The US Embassy in Port of Spain. - Angelo Marcelle
The US Embassy in Port of Spain. - Angelo Marcelle

GOVERNMENT on Saturday disagreed with statements made in a US travel advisory relating to terrorism in Trinidad and Tobago issued by the US State Department against Trinidad and Tobago.

A statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said the level four advisory has been applied to 130 countries, developed and developing, across the world.

"We also recognize and respect that the United States of America, like other sovereign nations, must take measures to guide and protect its citizens during these unprecedented and unpredictable times, especially in the light of the ongoing covid19 pandemic."

Notwithstanding this, the OPM said, "TT must register our disagreement and concern with some of the statements made in the current advisory, particularly as 'terrorism' is not a specific feature of any current threat within our shores."

"We would expect that the United States, which is not unfamiliar with the face of homegrown terrorism, would reconsider the association of such a term with TT as it certainly does not accurately reflect the local realities."

Government said it was not surprised by the UNC's attempt to misinterpret the advisory or the US government's condemnation of the UNC's actions. The UNC claimed the US in its advisory was telling its citizens not to visit known PNM strongholds.

The OPM also said recent public comments on the advisory has led to "the complete unmasking of the UNC and its determined agenda against TT."

"By its highly reckless and irresponsible public utterances and publications, the UNC leadership has made it abundantly clear, yet again, that they are never prepared to defend the interests of TT."

The OPM said the UNC's obscene haste to grasp any opportunity for political mischief and misinformation has once again backfired spectacularly on them. The OPM said the response of the US government to the UNC's claims has once again left them "in the unfortunate position of scrambling to save face, after attempting to confirm anything negative being said or portrayed about our nation, with no regard whatsoever for accuracy or context."

In a statement on Friday, the US Embassy said State Department advisories are apolitical in nature and do not reflect the US's relation with any country or any political party in that country.

The OPM said the population has come to expect such irresponsibility from the UNC who prefer "to gleefully attempt to confirm any misconception or misinformation about TT" while refusing to act out of a sense of duty to the country.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Prime Minister slammed what he described as "the ever increasing use of naked untruths" by the UNC to create unrest and mislead the public.

He slammed the party, its spokesmen and social media agents for using lies as "as a deliberate political strategy to disturb the national psyche, misinform the public or simply to create an issue which they can then engage on their political vines and platforms."

"Clearly we have spawned our version of QAnon," he charged, "but unfortunately for the country its main advocate and proponent is the UNC our official Opposition in the Parliament. Truth matters not only because it’s taught in church."

QAnon or Q is defined as "a wide-ranging, completely unfounded theory that says that President Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media."

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"Goverment disagrees with terrorism comment in US advisory"

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