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Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

The real purpose of Venezuela Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez’s trip to T&T in late March was the discussion of oil and gas agreements, not the COVID-19 pandemic. That was the claim made yesterday by Julio Borges, a member of Venezuela’s opposition.

Borges, an attorney who was appointed commissioner of Foreign Relations by Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó, made the claim in a tweet which was subsequently picked up by Venezuelan media.

“We have information that Delcy Rodríguez’s hidden trip to Trinidad and Tobago was not to treat the pandemic. Asdrúbal Chávez and other PDVSA officials accompanied her, seeking to sign oil and gas agreements with their backs to the country, giving away our wealth,” Borges said on Twitter.

Yesterday, however, National Security Minister Stuart Young reiterated that Rodriguez and her delegation dealt only with the pandemic during the visit.

Borges’ statement was widely reported by Venezuelam media yesterday and was also posted on the official website of the country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly.

The opposition representative said Rodriguez was accompanied on the T&T trip by officials of state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), including Chávez, who was appointed president of the energy company on April 27.

Borges urged the T&T authorities to join what he called a common position in the region and reject any type of agreement with the Nicolas Maduro regime.

He also expressed support for Guaidó’s proposal that a national emergency government be established to deal with the pandemic and achieve a political solution to the crisis in Venezuela.

On April 1, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, in confirming he had met with Rodriguez a few days earlier, denied the talks deal with anything other than COVID-19.

“And let me tell you one more thing, because I see that there are some who believe that there is something more here than we were able to discuss … when as Prime Minister of T&T I meet with Queen Elizabeth of England, with the Secretary General of the United Nations, with the President of Ghana and the vice president of Venezuela, I want the people of T&T to understand, understand, that it is in the best interests of the people of T&T, and that will be all I will say as the best answer to the subject.”

In early February, Government cancelled a gas development agreement with PDVSA due to the US sanctions imposed on the company. The deal involved joint development of cross border natural gas fields located between the two countries.