Port-of-Spain, Trinidad (TDN)
- Trinidad and Tobago’s decision to vote against Dominica’s appeal to the Organization of American States (OAS) for a two year waiver on its fees owed to the institution has met with outrage, disbelief and disgust within the country.
Now many within the country are calling for the firing of Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses and for prime minister Dr Keith Rowley to explain to the public why Trinidad and Tobago took this position.
On Wednesday the T&T National Workers Union (NWU) had expressed its bewilderment and disgust at its country’s decision saying that this was the same government that had given assistance to Dominica after Hurricane Maria. In a blistering attack against the government the NWU also said that its action enhances the country’s image as “one of arrogance and fecklessness.”
Last Monday, Dominica’s First Secretary at the OAS Judy Rolle had requested the one time waiver of the US $10 000 to US $ 15 000 fee payment as the country struggled to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating impact of hurricane Maria, which struck on September 18, 2017.
Rolle was stunned when Trinidad and Tobago’s representative Anthony Phillips-Spencer, stood up as the lone voice in objecting to the request. The ambassador suggested either a deferral or some type of payment plan be agreed to rather than a blanket waiver given to Dominica.
After his intervention a visibly stunned Rolle told the body “I am a little bit … I must say here I am a little bit, um, unsure of one of our member states concern and I seek clarity from this council,” she stated. The motion was eventually passed and the two year fee waived.