Friday 16 November, 2018

No word on Maxie’s return, Gov’t urges compassion as photos surface

There’s still no word by Government on the return of Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications Maxie Cuffie to Trinidad and Tobago.

The Government says it has not considered replacing him as a Member of Parliament.

However, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young, is urging citizens to show compassion after pictures of Cuffie surfaced on social media on Wednesday.

He was pictured in Washington outside a church with a walking stick.

Cuffie suffered a stroke in September 2017 and was not seen or heard from since.

This caused speculation with conspiracies claiming he was not alive.

Speaking at the post-cabinet media briefing on Thursday, Young said he noticed ‘disturbing’ comments being made on social media following the release of the pictures.

“It dawned on me as I was reading the newspaper this morning and seeing various posts on social media of which quite frankly were disturbing, but let’s remember at the end of the day Minister Cuffie is a human being, Minister Cuffie has a family. Minister Cuffie has gone through a medical episode that I wouldn’t wish on anybody,” he said.

The Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister called on citizens to show compassion.

He said he was happy to see the pictures as they show he is progressing well.

“I would just really like to plead with the people of Trinidad and Tobago find that humanity in yourselves and understand that we’re dealing with another human and put yourself in his shoes, would you really want some of the nasty comments I see?’’ Young asked.

He was asked whether government has considered replacing him as a Member of Parliament.

Young said the government is not at this stage considering this.

“Remember it’s a human being we are dealing with who has done absolutely nothing wrong.”

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced in February that two million dollars was paid by the government toward medical expenses for Minister Cuffie.

The Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister said Cabinet had taken a decision to put forward a certain amount to his medical bills, revealing that the ceiling has been met.

He added that government ministers have personally written cheques to help Cuffie.


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