TT Government challenges US ‘Terrorism’ advisory

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TT Government challenges US ‘Terrorism’ advisory

The government of Trinidad and Tobago has strongly disagreed with statements made in a US travel advisory in specific relation to terrorism in Trinidad and Tobago. The advisory issued by the US State Department against Trinidad and Tobago.

The US warned its citizens not to visit T&T due to restricted travel options put in place to prevent Covid-19 as well as crime, terrorism and kidnapping.

The US travel advisory stated: “terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports and other public areas.

It also stated “violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Port of Spain”.

In almost immediate response 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.

The OPM’s statement came following the US Department of State’s issue of a “Level 4-Do Not Travel” advisory on Wednesday.

The OPM statement read in part: “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.” The OPM statement continued: “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.”

Just this past Friday the US Embasy was forced to respond to distant itself from a UNC post which seemed to involve the embassy statement in local politics. In the statement issued 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”.