TT/Venezuela gas deal detrimental to Guyana – Fmr. Natural Resources Minister

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Former Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud has accused CARICOM Member State, Trinidad and Tobago of acting selfishly in signing a new gas deal with Venezuela.

TT Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday signed an agreement which will see the twin island republic processing natural gas for the Spanish-speaking nation.

While noting that every country is entitled to pursue its own economic and diplomatic relations, the former Government Minister contended that it should not be to the detriment of others, particularly a sister country in the community of nations.

“Trinidad and Tobago, in relation to Venezuela, has always acted selfishly in service of its own, narrow economic interest.  The recent dragon gas deal with the rogue, belligerent and inhumane Maduro regime is but the latest example,” Persaud stated in a Facebook post.

He expressed concerns that the new deal may have implications for the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and could undermine Guyana’s burgeoning oil and gas industry.

“Now that the odious claim by Venezuela has been referred to the ICJ, one would have thought caution and consideration would be given to its dealings with Venezuela.  Again, self-interest might have triumphed solidarity!” Persaud expressed.

The former politician also asked, “can this be interpreted as an indirect way to slow the emergence of our own oil and gas sector?”

Persaud said the new gas deal should cause some level of interest by the people of Guyana, foreign policy architects and all stakeholders in Guyana’s oil and gas sector.

He also said a few questions need to be answered including whether Trinidad and Tobago consulted with Guyana on its intention to strike another deal with Venezuela.

Persaud recalled the April 1990 Treaty Trinidad and Tobago made with Venezuela on delimitation on maritime and submarine areas which led to the overlapping of Guyana and Barbados Exclusive Economic Zone.

“Trinidad and Tobago seems to care less or not at all about the ramifications of its action on Guyana’s borders re: Venezuela’s illegal and unfounded claim on 2/3 of our territory,” Persaud expressed.

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