Charles chides Rowley for comments on US riots


Rodney Charles –

UNC MP FOR Naparima MP Rodney Charles on Thursday slammed the Prime Minister for his remarks to Newsday on Wednesday’s mob invasion of the US Congress by aggrieved supporters of President Trump who felt the presidential election had been rigged.

Dr Rowley had told Newsday the events in Washington, DC, were a day never to forget, and, noting US sanctions imposed after the 2015 Venezuelan election, he had asked who will now likewise sanction the US.

Charles, in a statement titled “Be more gracious Prime Minister Rowley,” said Rowley’s remarks on Wednesday had been ill-judged.

“Yesterday the world witnessed with consternation the unfortunate events which unfolded in Washington, arguably the seat of world democracy.

“World leaders both friend and foe expressed their concern, while at the same time underscoring their hope that the situation would soon be brought under control and that democracy would continue to flourish.”

Charles said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had expressed his trust in the strength of US democracy, while Barbados leader Mia Mottley stayed silent.

“Not PM Rowley who, in a most combative, undiplomatic, in your face, and entirely uncalled for mood said, ‘Similar scenes in Venezuela resulted in sanctions by foreign nations against those who claimed victory,’” Charles said. “Why rub salt in the wounds of the US at a time when they were experiencing monumental difficulties? Was it your high point of diplomacy? Did you have to be so imprudent?”

Charles said the US is Trinidad and Tobago’s largest trading partner, home to thousands of TT citizens and the seat of democracy.

“If the US sneezes the world catches a cold.

“Dr Rowley, by numerous sins of commission and omission in his utterances, always takes the side of Maduro even though he states that he is adhering to a policy of non-interference.”

Charles said the PM’s remarks on the US Capitol were starkly similar to those expressed by the Venezuelan government.

“May we remind Dr Rowley that the US policy towards Venezuela enjoys bipartisan support and is unlikely to change significantly under a Biden administration.

“It was the Obama administration that imposed sanctions on Venezuela.”

Charles expected changes in the tone but not the substance of US policy towards Venezuela.

“Sometimes, Dr Rowley, silence is golden. When you cannot assist or console a supposed ally, diplomacy requires that if you have nothing positive to say, then just shut up.”

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