National Security Minister Stuart Young has indicated that the exemption letter granting permission for Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and her delegation to enter Trinidad on March 27 is authentic.
However, the Minister, in a Facebook post just before 10 p.m. on Thursday maintained that neither he nor Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley knew who were in the delegation and the details with respect to the names and aircraft number was dealt with by the public service.
Young noted the photograph of a letter dated March 26, 2020 from a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security to the Chief Immigration Officer indicating that the Minister of National Security granted an exemption for a Venezuelan delegation to enter Trinidad and Tobago on March 27, 2020.
“I have ascertained that this letter is authentic,” he stated.
“It has been somewhat surprising to me how some have conveniently twisted this letter in a deliberate attempt to mislead the population and undermine the facts that have been outlined by the Prime Minister and myself,” he added.
Young stated the following for the record:
1. This letter is completely consistent with what I stated previously, on Monday of this week at the Ministry of Health press conference (11 May, 2020).
2. I stated that I granted permission for Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez to enter Trinidad and Tobago.
3. Once the exemption to enter is granted, as was the case with Vice President Rodriguez, the public service deals with the details.
4. I was not aware of the composition of the delegation or the aircraft that would be used. Those details were handled by the public service as is always done.
5. The letter being referenced, simply confirms that the public service had details of the aircraft and persons in the delegation and that I had granted approval for entry.
The attempt to try and stretch the content of this letter from one public servant to another to equate to the Prime Minister or myself having knowledge of the details of the Venezuelan delegation or the plane, and its ownership, is misplaced.
I reiterate as follows:
1. Neither the Honourable Prime Minister nor myself had any knowledge of the composition of the Venezuelan delegation we were to meet, prior to the meeting on March 27, 2020.
2. There was also no knowledge on our part of the aircraft used by the Venezuelan delegation.
I trust that this serves to clear the deliberate doubt and ambiguity being created over this matter.