No tension between T&T and Venezuela over “baby shooting” incident says Nat Sec Min

Home*Cover Story*

No tension between T&T and Venezuela over “baby shooting” incident says Nat Sec Min

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds has joined Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in defending the actions of the Coast Guard in the incident at sea which saw a migrant baby shot to death.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said in a Facebook post that the shooting death of the baby by the Coast Guard on Saturday was an accident.

Dr Rowley made his comment as he criticized Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar who berated the Coast Guard for the shooting of the baby Ya Elvis Santoyo.

The baby and his mother were on board a boat illegally entering T&T on Saturday night when they were ordered to stop by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard said the vessel did not stop and attempted to ram their vessel and in turn they opened fire.

However, Dr Rowley maintained that the Coast Guard members were carrying out “reasonable and professional orders under international protocols and law”.

Dozens of Venezuelans gathered yesterday in front of the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in Caracas to demand justice for the death of the child.

The protesters dressed in black, held cards condemning the killing and placed white roses on the ground in front of the Embassy as Venezuelan police kept guard.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the United Nations and several other international bodies have spoken out about the incident and called for a thorough investigation.

Despite the international furore, Minister Hinds told POwer 102 Digital’s Power Breakfats Show that there is no tension between Trinidad and Tobago’s and Venezuela’s Governments.

Addressing concerns over the independence of any investigation into the matter, Minister Hinds assured the Police will take the lead as they would in any other case involving the death of an infant within the country’s borders.