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Challenges of the Fishery
FFOS issues public warning to ALL Seafarers

FFOS issues public warning to ALL Seafarers

Date: January 30th 2019

Dear Editor/Newsroom,

Presently, five Trinidad and Tobago citizens have been kidnapped from our maritime waters and are being held for a USD 200,000.00 ransom.

In 2018 Minister Franklin Khan stated at a media conference that ‘because of our Government’s extremely cordial relationship with the Government of Venezuela, the Tank 70 oil spill of April 23rd 2017, that crossed an international boundary and entered into Guiria, Venezuela “did not blow up into an international fiasco”. Could Minister Khans “extremely cordial relationship” be now called upon to bring our brothers home safely?

Dennis Moses, (the Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs), was present at the Jan 10th 2019 Presidential coronation of Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, (giving our Nations unquestionable support to the Maduro Regime). Instead of being in New York, why is Minister Moses not now rushing to Caracas to secure our brothers release? Should Minister Moses not be seeking the interest of our kidnapped citizens as a matter of national security?

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) publicly appeal to the Rowley Administration to come to the rescue of our kidnapped citizens.

This situation is not new. We suffer a history of fisher folk being robbed, bound and thrown overboard and kidnapped for ransoms. There are mounting statistics of kidnapped citizens captured in our territorial waters, and ransomed in Venezuela. Dozens of fisherfolk boat engines have been stolen in the past 3 months. Why is our Ministry of National Security silent? Eleven weeks ago (Nov 10th 2018) Minister Young promised that 14 derelict Interceptor boats will be repaired in the shortest time possible, and then … not a word! Have these said vessels been repaired or not?

How can our seafarers be safe against this Venezuelan invasion if critical national security promises are not kept by Government?

This ongoing violence is not going to stop as the starvation, corruption and lawlessness crisis worsens in Venezuela. They are on the brink of civil war. It is expected that these kidnapping and other criminal events will increase in intensity and frequency.

Instead of relying on Venezuela only for the Dragon Gas deal, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has a duty of care to come to the rescue of our citizens who are all being held under the barrel of the gun.

FFOS publicly warns ALL Seafarers to take every precaution while at sea. Vessels should be ready to cut anchor or nets at any time to flee in an instant. Venezuelan vessels are fast, armed with machine guns and are operating in broad daylight. FFOS publicly warns ALL Seafarers to take every precaution while at sea. Vessels should be ready to cut anchor or nets at any time to flee in an instant. Venezuelan vessels are fast, armed with machine guns and are operating in broad daylight.

Sincerely,

Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea

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