Former Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud has accused Trinidad and Tobago of “once again acting in its own narrow economic interest” in partnering with Venezuela on a gas deal over the weekend.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, August 26, Persaud said the recent Dragon gas deal between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela is but one of many examples that can be cited where the former acts without regard to the implications for Guyana.
“Every country is entitled to pursue economic and diplomatic relations that best serves its interest. But the pursuit of this interest must not be to the detriment of others, particularly a sister country in a community of nations,” said Persaud.
“Trinidad and Tobago, in relation to Venezuela, has always acted selfishly in service of its own, narrow economic interest. The recent Dragon gas deal with the rogue, belligerent and inhumane Maduro regime is but the latest example. There are several instances when our territorial integrity was compromised by treaties and deals between TT and Venezuela,” said the former government minister. He went on to cite what he referred to as the most bruising example – the April 1990 Treaty with Venezuela on delimitation on maritime and submarine areas which led to the overlapping of Guyana’s and Barbados’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
Persaud asked whether Trinidad and Tobago consulted with or briefed Guyana of its intention to strike the gas deal with Caracas and whether elements of the agreement would affect Guyana’s case before the ICJ. “Can this be interpreted as an indirect way to slow the emergence of our own oil and gas sector? Should we not assess the TT companies to benefit from the Dragon deal to gauge their participation in our own oil and gas sector to determine issues of potential conflict?” Persaud asked.
“Trinidad and Tobago seems to care less or not at all about the ramifications of its action on Guyana’s borders re: Venezuela’s illegal and unfounded claim on 2/3 of our territory. Now that the odious claim by Venezuela has been referred to the ICJ, one would have thought caution and consideration would be given to its dealings with Venezuela. Again, self-interest might have triumphed solidarity!,” he stated.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro sealed a deal on Saturday that will see the twin island republic processing Venezuelan natural gas for the first time.
According to reports, Rowley expressed thanks to Maduro for making the deal possible. He noted that while the agreement arrived later than anticipated, it was not too late for the two countries to embark on what he called an exciting journey.