Tuesday 21 May, 2019

Lee tells Gov't: Verify legality of Dragon Gas Deal with Venezuela

Point a Pierre MP David Lee says he is alarmed at the recent revelations surrounding the Dragon Gas Deal signed between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela on August 27.

Lee was responding to statements made by Venezuelan Assemblymember Carlos Valero that any treaty or contract signed between this country and Venezuela which has not been ratified by the National Assembly, might not be honoured.

Valero, in a television interview with cnc3, cautioned local lawmakers not to be misled by the deal.

In a press release issued on Monday, Lee says this admission strongly suggests that this deal signed between both governments is fragile, volatile and has the strong possibility of not being realized.

“Trinidad and Tobago has now been placed in a very vulnerable position as in the absence of this required ratification the dragon deal could be easily discarded if there is a change in administration in Venezuela. As a nation we must therefore ask, is the agreement which this Government signed legally binding?”

Lee further questions whether this administration is in cahoots with Venezuela over the deal.

“Could it be said that they are conspiring with the Venezuelan government to violate that nation’s constitution which specifically requires approval by the assembly for deals such as these? There are already many questions concerning the manner in which companies are being engaged to work on this project in light of the many international sanctions against Venezuela.”

This is not the first time the Point a Pierre MP has questioned the government about the legality and legislative mechanisms required for the protection of this project.

He notes that he was met with intense secrecy accompanied by political insults and hostility.

Lee believes that the government sought to cover up the fact that this project has not been legally ratified, giving rise to many possible negative repercussions.

“Therefore, was this deal just a political charade or public relations gimmick by the Government?” he questioned.

The Opposition MP is calling on the government to operate in an honest manner pertaining to this agreement as so far every major aspect has been clouded in mystery, with journalists kept in another room during the signing of the agreement.

He says if this government stands for the principles of transparency as it routinely boasts, then it is imperative that they call on the Venezuelan Government to have this agreement brought before its assembly for approval in keeping with their constitution, so as to ensure its long-term sustainability and survival.

Lee adds that if this is not done, the government needs to reconsider this agreement for the sake of its international reputation and to end the wastage of taxpayers’ dollars on a project which could be stopped in the event of a new government in Venezuela.

 

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