Minister of National Security, Stuart Young has attempted to clarify statements he made in the Senate on May 13th regarding conversations with US officials about the possible breach of the Rio Treaty to which Trinidad and Tobago is a party.

Minister Young was asked by Opposition Senator Wade Mark whether the Government had held talks with the US to avert repercussions that could have arisen by allowing Venezuela’s Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez, to visit Trinidad and Tobago in March. In response, Young said conversations were had with US Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph Mondello, but a breach did not form part of the discussions. 

However, reports in the media quote the National Security Minister as denying having ever spoken with Mondello about the treaty. In a statement on Tuesday, Minister Young maintained that he never said that the Ambassador did not raise the visit of Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, nor did he say that the Ambassador did not raise the Rio Treaty. 

He claimed that what he articulated was that the breach of Treaty was not raised. He spoke on the matter in the Senate directly after the statement was issued.

He stated that there was a conversation had between himself and the Ambassador.

He said while there was a conversation with the Ambassador the breach of the Treaty was not raised.