There is cause for great concern and alarm as it relates to the Dragon Gas Deal given the published revelations by Venezuelan Assembly member 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. 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?
Further, if this administration continues to accept this agreement as is, 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.
For months as the Member of Parliament for Pointe a Pierre I have continuously questioned this administration about the legality and legislative mechanisms required for future protection of this project. Each time I was met with intense secrecy accompanied by the political insults and hostility, but today our nation can see that the secrecy was as a result of this government seeking 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?
It is time the government operate in an honest manner pertaining to this agreement as so far every major aspect has been clouded in mystery, even our journalist were kept in another room during the signing of the agreement.
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.
If this is not done then government needs to reconsider this agreement not only for the sake of its international reputation but also to halt the wastage of taxpayers’ dollars on a project which could be stopped in the event of a new government in Venezuela.
In the past this Government has labelled the Opposition as being unpatriotic when we questioned this agreement, but this latest scenario demonstrates that we were only acting in the public’s best interest as a watchdog to protect our taxpayers’ resources from being wasted.
This situation must not be viewed from a political lens but from a national point of view which spells out disaster for our nation if this agreement fails given that this government has made the Dragon Gas Deal the corner stone of ending this country’s national gas shortage.