Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Letter: Venezuela invades Trinidad and Tobago!
Published on April 4, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) take strong objection to the fact that Venezuelan poachers are invading the north coast of Trinidad as well as the fertile fishing grounds three to five miles north of Castara, Tobago. We fear that these Venezuelan poachers, like many before, are armed with weapons including machine guns.

Last week the Venezuelan poachers threatened and chased our local fishermen from our waters off Castara! Where is the Coast Guard (CG) in all of this? Do we not have the right to fish anymore?

Venezuela has become a crooked lawless country. They have lost their rudder and radar and have no sense of direction to lead their people out of the economic and judicial chaos that they presently face. Sadly, Venezuela has become a “dog eat dog” jungle.

Why are we are allowing their lawless poachers to invade our space and threaten our local fishermen?

We must not forget the past incident of how the Guardia Nacional almost murdered our fishermen. In 1999, Ricardo Phillips, the captain of a local fishing trawler “Red Snapper” was reported by our Coast Guard as having been thrown overboard off the south coast of Trinidad – “with his hands and legs bound” – by Venezuelan Guardia Nacional officers in the full glare of our Coast Guard officials.

Human rights are not the same in this destabilized neighbour. Why should we allow these people to continue to enter our waters, threaten and chase our nationals and take our resources?

Where are our Coast Guard vessels? Are they anchored in Scarborough and Chaguaramas? Should they not be anchored and/or patrolling the areas where our fishermen should be legally operating?

Our Coast Guard is a luxurious drain on our treasury with little effect. After all they have not protected our fishers and will continue to be incapable due to the equipment model that has been politically expedient. The model is only purchase extremely large and unaffordable equipment, which is prohibitively expensive to operate. So it means that the CG does not have smaller, much cheaper and more versatile deep-V pirogue vessels with easily serviceable engines.

Instead, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on a large fleet of ships (naval vessels) that are perfect if we were planning to defend our nation from invasion but prohibitively expensive and incompetent for navigating our near shore coastal areas.

The banner of “national security” has become a licence to spend without consultation. Have we forgotten that the previous government had to borrow TT$1.358 billion in 2015 for vessels for our CG? In the 2016/2017 budget $7.625 billion has been allocated for national security, yet where are the benefits of this excessive budget allocation… more murders, more lawlessness on every front?

What it boils down to is that there are no human rights, no liberties, no law, no order and no environmental, social, child or other justice if there is no money to support the enforcing institution. If our limited money continues to be blown away on ill conceived equipment, inflated acquisitions of property and services, and often outrageously inflated rentals of ghost facilities, we can expect to join our bankrupt neighbour soon enough.

With everyone free to enter and depart our territorial waters unreported, it is no wonder that the movement of illegal products has flourished so successfully in the past ten years. In 1999, the then prime minister stated that this nation had acquired state of the art radars, but like so much that he has said in the past, one never knows what is the truth. Do we have radars or not? Unless our government can protect our borders we stand to lose a lot more than our rights or our fish.

Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea
Reads: 4977

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: