Trinidad & Tobago blanked as Trump invites Caribbean leaders to meeting

US President Donald Trump

(Trinidad Express) President Donald Trump has invited the leaders of The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia to his Florida resort tomorrow to discuss Chinese “predatory economic practices” and the crisis in Venezuela.

Also to be discussed is security cooperation and potential opportunities for energy investment, the White House said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

No invitation was extended to Trinidad and Tobago.

There has been no immediate response from the Office of the Prime Minister or the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

There are major foreign policy differences between Trinidad and Tobago and the US.

The US has warned countries in the region about accepting Chinese investment.

Last October, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Mexico City that “when China comes calling it’s not always to the good of your citizens.”

T&T has major investments linked to Chinese companies which are involved in multiple infrastructure developments projects locally.

“When they show up with deals that seem to be too good to be true it’s often the case that they, in fact, are,” Pompeo said.

The United States also recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as that country’s interim president.

T&T, which has a major investment regarding the Dragon Gas project has adopted the position of non-intervention.

The invitation to the leaders is for a meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

According to the statement: “Trump’s meeting with the Caribbean leaders will reaffirm our strong friendship with and commitment to these countries, and signal the importance of the Caribbean to the hemisphere. The President will discuss his vision for our diverse relationships in the Caribbean and the potential opportunities for energy investment. The President looks forward to working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices. The President will use this meeting as an opportunity to thank these countries for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela. The United States remains a good friend to the Caribbean and seeks to build on a proud legacy as the region’s partner of choice”.

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