Port-of-Spain, Trinidad (TDN)
- Dominica’s prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit is reporting that the relationship between Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago remains “solid.”
Skerrit made the remarks in a whatsapp message sent to Trinidad’s CNC3 Morning Brew host Hema Ramkissoon. He went on to say that he does not believe that prime minister Dr Keith Rowley knew of the Organization of American States (OAS) vote before it happened.
“The relationship between Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago remains solid. The Trinidad Government and indeed the whole of T&T have been very supportive of our efforts. I do not think that the PM would have been aware of the vote at the OAS prior. This is one of the usual miscommunication occurrences which happens to all of us from time to time,” Skerrit stated.
Skerrit went on to thank the people of the twin island Republic for their support given to Dominica since the passage of hurricane Maria in September of last year.
The Dominican prime minister’s message comes amid continuing calls in T&T for the sacking of the island’s foreign minister following the OAS vote. On March 23, T&T’s representative, Ambassador Anthony Phillip-Spencer, in response to Dominica’s request for a fee waiver, voted against Dominica being allowed to waive its OAS contributions for the next two years.
The move immediately sparked a public backlash in Trinidad, where just months before thousands of islanders had contributed in cash and kind to assist Dominica. One of the leading trade unions in T&T the National Workers Union launched a blistering attack against the government saying that its action enhances the country’s image as “one of arrogance and fecklessness.”
Prime minister Rowley said he has launched an investigation into the circumstances, which led to a public official’s opposing vote. Meanwhile, a leaked letter from Phillip-Spencer to Rowley, dated March 29, stated that he acted in compliance with written instructions from the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, which contradicted the advice provided by the Permanent Mission.