By Stephen Kangal
April 04, 2018
The woeful conduct or lack thereof of T&T’s foreign relations/policies has degenerated to such a paltry and embarrassing state of affairs under lame-duck and struggling Minister Dennis Moses that even a grass-roots National Workers Union (NWU) is more in tune with our high profile foreign policy towards beleaguered Dominica than our current accredited Head of Mission to the USA/OAS, Ambassador Anthony Phillip-Spencer.
It is to be noted that nobody misrepresented Ambassador Spencer’s well stated and oft-repeated position against the waiver of OAS contributions by struggling Dominica for 2018 and 2019. Even the Dominican delegate to the OAS Meeting was visibly stunned beyond belief by this T&T position and with visible sadness reluctantly asked for clarification.
Ambassador Spencer is neither a “public official” nor an ordinary ‘public servant” according to the assertion in Ministry’s pathetic release. He never was being a former Defence Force Brigadier General who was appointed Ambassador to the USA and then accredited to the OAS by Dr Rowley.
T&T-appointed Ambassadors are invested with the rank and diplomatic and political status of a Minister of Government and he/she always wields full powers to commit the GORTT by their statements automatically. It said so quite clearly in his Presidential-issued letter of appointment given to him as Ambassador to the USA to present as his credentials to President Trump.
His statement was never a suggestion as observed by Minister Moses. He repeated that pathetic position on behalf of the GORTT several times albeit with diplomatic suaveness saying that that position was also adopted at other multilateral fora by his Government. It was well established T&T foreign policy he affirmed from which no derogation is permitted. It was cast in concrete according to him.
The taped-proceedings are on social media for all to see and listen to this debacle as it unfolds to the total disgrace of T&T and foreign policy articulation in shambles in Washington D.C.
What appeared then as unilateral, disastrous and quite distasteful conduct of Ambassador Spencer on this very simple, pedestrian Caricom/OAS matter has brought T&T’s regional image into odium, disrepute and poor-standing. Trinidad and Tobago was once known for plenty dollars but little diplomatic sense.
He should have telephoned the Minister during the meeting and indicated that the position stated to him on the Dominica waiver resolution must be changed from opposition to support in view of the unanimous support it was receiving. That is what cell phones are for – emergencies.
Unfortunately but quite expectedly it is a sad reflection and consequence of the collapse of Minister Moses’ failed tenure at the helm of the Foreign Ministry as well as the serial incompetence and ineptitude of the Rowley Administration that selected all these known failures to oversee these delicate and sensitive postings overseas.
The net result is international disaster from the red and ready.