The Trinidad and Tobago government says it is shocked at the latest travel advisory issued by the United States, which encourages Americans to avoid the capital due to violence and shootings.
Washington DC maintained a Level 2 advisory for Trinidad and Tobago but issued a Level 4 advisory for Port of Spain, advising US citizens not to travel there.
In addition, the advisory stated that US government personnel are prohibited from traveling to several areas including all beaches, claiming that violent crimes, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping are common.
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In addition, it said gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common, with a significant portion of violent crime being gang related.
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas,” the advisory said.
But National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, said Trinidad and Tobago has not had any major terrorist activity for many years, perhaps not since 1990.
“We have had little bombings about the place, unfortunately someone lost a leg…and we haven’t had that experience and thank God, I was a little bit taken aback,” he said.
He added that the government continues to work alongside the United States and other friendly governments in dealing with crime and that terrorism, which is not unique to Trinidad and Tobago.
“We continue to do our work, we continue to collaborate with our friends, the United States of America and other international partners and other international agencies and it is a work in progress…,” he said.
“But yes, I was a little bit taken aback with this major focus on terrorism bearing in mind that terrorism is an opportunist activity and wherever they get an opportunity to do something they do it anywhere in the world, and, in that sense, Trinidad and Tobago is not as vulnerable as every other country anywhere in this world,” he added.
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