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A troubled neighbour

Monday, February 5, 2018

The harrowing stories of Venezuelans being lured to Trinidad and Tobago to work in the sex trade carried in our Sunday edition represent just one of the many issues we face as that country’s situation deteriorates. Reports of a growing trade in guns and other illicit goods coming from Venezuela also show that our shores are porous and dangerously open to criminal activities.

President Nicolas Maduro’s regime seems to be moving full speed towards collapse, worrying every one of Venezuela’s neighbours, especially Colombia and Brazil, as they have already seen a significant increase in migration, legal and illegal. The Gulf of Paria offers T&T a helpful buffer, especially if the regime’s collapse is dramatic and uncontrolled. However, the ripple effects will no doubt reach our shores—as controllable waves or as a major tsunami.

Given the strategic plans involving shared gas fields, our Government has been at best coy about dealing with Venezuela’s risk. At times, appeasement feels like the best description to our Government’s stance.

Ironically, the longer our Government looks away from Maduro’s abuse of power and economic mismanagement, the more a robust contingency plan is needed to deal with a Venezuelan catastrophic collapse.

Mangled police service

The official residence of a permanent Police Commissioner (if we will ever have one) is a stone’s throw away of a collection of broken down, mangled and cannibalised police cars on display by entrance of TT Police Service’s St James barracks. Many of his subordinates around the country will have a similar view from their police station offices.

This is just another example of how mismanaged our law enforcement body has been over the years, with taxpayers’ resources wasted through lack of maintenance or no due care for public assets. All that with disregard for good governance, with poor control systems in place to track maintenance and repair contracts.

Apart from being a slap on the face of taxpayers, the state of the police fleet is a gift to the much better equipped criminal gangs.

Power to Ajay

Young Ajay Aberdeen’s choice to grow his own peppers and sell them in San Juan (whilst still attending school) instead of choosing the apparently easier route of drugs and gangs is truly inspirational.

We need to nurture the thousands of Ajays out there to reward them for their right choices and show others it can be done. Keep up with the good work and keep spreading the message, Ajay.


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