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Dr. Gonsalves to head delegation

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The fertilization of the proposed sub-regional union between Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, viewed by some critics as a political strategy of self-interest between Prime Ministers Patrick Manning and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, may begin as early as next week when the latter leads an official Trinidad and Tobago delegation to Latin America.{{more}}

“…I will head the delegation of the government of Trinidad and Tobago to go to Columbia and Ecuador to assist in making the case for Trinidad and Tobago to be the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) headquarters,” Dr. Gonsalves told a press conference on Tuesday.

Dr. Gonsalves is expected to visit Columbia first on Tuesday or Wednesday, following which he will travel to Ecuador. He said the delegation should have visited Bolivia also, but the security situation in that country was not favourable for such visit.

Dr. Gonsalves said four Trinidadian officials who will accompany him, including the twin-island republic’s ambassador to Venezuela. He also said this country’s Ambassador to the OAS, Ellsworth John, would join him in Miami.

“I am very pleased that I am able to provide some assistance to the government of Trinidad and Tobago in making the case for that country to be headquarters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas,” Dr. Gonsalves stated.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister further said that Barbados and Guyana’s foreign ministers had previously assisted Trinidad and Tobago in the process but the Patrick Manning administration said they wanted to raise the game a little and carry the fight at the prime ministerial level.

“So, I am looking forward to that particular mission,” Dr. Gonsalves said.

Though the proposed Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is moving slowly, the Prime Ministers of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are sowing the seeds of a smaller economic union which may oxygenate the process of the wider Caribbean union.

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