“The relationship between Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago remains solid,” Prime Minister Skerrit told the host of a morning talk show in Trinidad via WhatsApp, according to the Trinidad Guardian.
The comments by Prime Minister Skerrit follow events of March 23rd where Ambassador Anthony Philip-Spencer voted against Dominica’s bid to waive its OAS contributions for the next two years.
Skerrit recognized that T&T has been very supportive of Dominica. He pointed out that he does not believe the prime minister of T&T (Dr.Keith Rowley) was aware of the vote prior to it being cast at the OAS. He also believed the incident to be a result of miscommunication that “happens to us from time to time”.
He went on to say that the people of Dominica remained “heartened” and “touched by the continued love” over the aid that has been received from Trinidad and Tobago following the ravages of Hurricane Maria last year. Skerrit also indicated that the support received from Trinidad “transcends all of society including political parties”.
When asked if he had spoken to Prime Minister Rowley, Skerrit indicated via WhatsApp, according to a CMC report, that he would speak with him regarding the matter of the OAS vote on Tuesday 3rd (yesterday). Rawley has gone on to dismiss the claims that he and Skerrit were to meet on the matter.He stated that the CMC report was “either the product of irresponsible journalism or people being open to mischief from fake news purveyors”. In response, CMC has stood by their reporting.
Trinidad’s vote stunned Dominica’s Representative at that meeting Judith Ann-Rolle in what was described as an awkward and tense moment.
Ann-Rolle made Dominica’s case in light of the ongoing effects of the destruction caused by Maria. Trinidad was the only country to vote against Dominica’s bid requesting that a deferral of payment be made instead of a complete waiver of obligations and a payment plan be submitted for the fees which range between 15,000 USD to 20,000 USD for 2018 and 2019.
Rowley, who has requested an investigation in the matter, maintains that the position of Spencer does not represent the position of Trinidad and Tobago.
However, according to a report in the Trinidad Guardian, a leaked letter from Phillip-Spencer to Rowley claims that he (Spencer) acted in accordance with instructions from the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs which directly contradicts a release from the same ministry last Thursday.