Opposition leader chastises PM for holding crime talks with US officials

Home*Cover Story*News

Opposition leader chastises PM for holding crime talks with US officials

The Prime Minister’s trip to Washington, DC, to hold talks with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has been slammed by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

She said “scant courtesy” is being handed down to citizens by Government’s move to have talks on T&T’s crime problem with US officials, rather than nationals or the diaspora.

Persad-Bissessar, speaking at Monday night’s UNC Anti-crime Consultation at the Naparima College, San Fernando, said: “Not with the nationals, not with the diaspora, he’s holding crime talks with officials in Washington and this is the kind of scant courtesy that this Government intends to hand down.”

She pointed to the the Caricom crime symposium at the Hyatt in Port-of-Spain last year, saying: “They won’t come to San Fernando to talk to you – $5 million at the Hyatt and what happened since then? Nothing. Then the Government promised us they’d do anti-crime talks in our country but that became the Caricom crime summit they held at Hyatt.”

She thanked attendees for their comments that the UNC must meet the people and listen to them, “because obviously what they’ve been doing, it hasn’t worked, and it’s not working.”

She also noted some people felt she and MPs should “talk down to them” and give UNC’s plans. But she said the UNC spent years saying what its plans are and the consultations were for the UNC to hear what members of the public and qualified people had to say and see together how “we can build on all these suggestions to fight crime.” She said the UNC would give its plans at Monday Night Reports or Pavement Report meetings.