Minister of National Security Stuart Young MP, and Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Senator Dr Amery Browne, meet with Venezuelan Minister of Defence Admiral Carmen Meléndez and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Jorge Alberto Arreaza Montserrat, via video conference on Friday December 04, 2020. (Image courtesy Ministry of National Security)

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of National Security met today, Friday 4 December 2020, with his Venezuelan counterpart to discuss critical border security issues between both countries.

A release issued by the National Security Ministry confirms that Minister Stuart Young MP and his Cabinet colleague Senator  Dr Amery  Browne, Minister of  Foreign  and  CARICOM  Affairs  represented this country in the virtual meeting.  Their Venezuelan counterparts included Admiral Carmen Meléndez, Venezuela’s Minister of Defence, and Mr Jorge Alberto Arreaza Montserrat, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

During the video conference, the issue of strengthening the bilateral mechanisms for maritime security cooperation  between  both  countries was a focal point.  Discussions  further  outlined  a  framework  for joint efforts to combat human and narcotics trafficking, migrant smuggling and other forms of transnational organized crime.

Minister  Young  noted  that  border  security  was  a  critical  element  in  Government’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago and reaffirmed his commitment to working with all local and international stakeholders in this regard.

Both delegations expressed their commitment to continued collaboration on security matters of mutual interest and promoting the maintenance of law and order.

Also present at the meeting were:

● His Excellency Carlos Amador Perez Silva, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago;

● Mr Gary Joseph, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security; 

● Air Commodore Darryl Daniel, Chief of Defence Staff;

● Captain Don Polo, Commanding Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard;

● Ms. Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews, Chief Immigration Officer; and 

● Major (Ret’d) Richard Lynch, Deputy  Director – International  Affairs  Unit,  Ministry  of  National  Security.