T&T PM apologises to Castro after Hilton fiasco

Persad-Bissessar said she apologised to Castro and he accepted her apology.

“When I met his Excellency President Castro, I said to him I was sorry about what happened, so I have told him that to his face. He says he understands. It is not the first time that they have faced a blockade from the US and they have been living under that for many, many years,” she said on Saturday.

“He said he was not upset about it in the sense that they have faced that kind of behaviour before, indeed the entire country has been blockaded for the past 50 years so he was very happy to be here, his visit was very beneficial for us and I do believe for Cuba as well.”

Persad-Bissessar was speaking to reporters at her annual Christmas Toy Drive that began on Saturday at Skinner Park in San Fernando.

When asked if she would accept any help from former prime minister Patrick Manning who held a press conference in San Fernando earlier on Saturday, Persad-Bissessar said no.

“I would never ask for his help. The country rejected him at the polls. Until the country tells me otherwise, they voted for my government we will continue to govern to the best of our ability. I believe that we are fine. The Government is doing well and the country is doing very well. Other countries have collapsed. Others are seeing a lot of problems in their economics, in security matters. We have brought the crime down. We have managed the economy and we are enjoying this Christmas season.”

Persad-Bissessar said, “Mr Manning wants my job but he has to wait for that until there is an election and should the people so vote for him then so be it. But at the moment we were elected by the majority of the people in this country and I do not intend to call an early election.”

And she said even though there were threats to shutdown the country by various unions, she was not fazed.

“I heard people are threatening to shutdown the country and it has not shutdown yet.  I am not of the view that the country will be shutdown but the unions are entitled to act within the law to further their interest. This is a democracy and I have nothing against them using the law within the law to take such action as they see fit.”

The Prime Minister gave out gifts to hundreds of children who attended the event. She said this year there will be six venues where toys and treats will be given.

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