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T&T condemns US travel advisory

T&T condemns US travel advisory
Trinidad & Tobago prime minister, Dr Keith Rowley - FP

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago government Saturday said it “must register our disagreement and concerns” at the decision of the United States government to include the oil-rich twin island republic in its latest Level 4 Travel Advisory.

Trinidad and Tobago’s borders have been closed for more than a year and in a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said that Washington issued the same travel advisory urging their nationals not to visit more than 130 countries globally.

“We also recognise and respect that the United States of America, like other sovereign nations, must take measures to guide and protect its citizens during these unprecedented and unpredictable times, especially in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

But it said “notwithstanding, Trinidad and Tobago must register our disagreement and concern with some of the statements made in the current advisory, particularly as “terrorism” is not a specific feature of any current threat within our shores.

“We would expect that the United States, which is not unfamiliar with the face of home-grown terrorism, would reconsider the association of such a term with Trinidad and Tobago as it certainly does not accurately reflect the local realities.”

The US Embassy here said Washington had “recently adjusted our Travel Advisory system to give more weight to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” and that “following this update, approximately 80 per cent of countries worldwide have a Travel Advisory Level of 4: Do Not Travel”.

It said that the naming of specific neighbourhoods in the travel advisory “comes from a specific provision of US law that provides there can be no double standard for US citizens versus employees of the Department of State”. (CMC)