Vieira: Government should explain Dragon gas policy

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Anthony Vieira –

INDEPENDENT Senator Anthony Vieira, SC, has said Government should give the population an idea of its policy for the Dragon gas deal with Venezuela.

He made this statement during a debate on a private motion on the deal in the Senate on Tuesday.

Referring to earlier contributions by Opposition Senator Wade Mark and Energy Minister Stuart Young, Vieira said there is a difference between policy and negotiations.

In the case of the latter, he agreed with Young about the need to keep sensitive information confidential while negotiations are ongoing.

Vieira said this is a standing rule whether negotiations are held between governments or the private sector.

“Sensitive information can potentially give the other party an advantage in the negotiations or can allow them to use that information against you.”

But Vieira said that policy provides a framework which guides decision-making. In that context, he believed Government could tell the population its policy on the Dragon gas deal.

“Tell Trinidadians and Tobagonians how TT will benefit from the deal.”

Vieira said Government should give “citizens the assurance that this Dragon deal is very likely going to succeed.”

He acknowledged that no one could predict what could happen to the deal if the US reimposes sanctions on Venezuela if it does not hold free elections in 2024 or if Venezuela invades Guyana to acquire its Essequibo region.

From a policy perspective, Vieira suggested that Government should indicate its fallback position in those circumstances.

Debate on the motion was adjourned to the next private members’ day sitting of the Senate.