Obama promises $130 M for regional security

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos
Ariana Cubillos

CARICOM states are expected to benefit from a $130 million in financial assistance from U.S. President Barrack Obama to deal with crime and security in the region.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made this disclosure following the conclusion of the recent Sixth Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

Persad-Bissessar, who has lead responsibility for security within CARICOM’s quasi-Cabinet and other Caribbean leaders met with Obama for about an hour at the Summit.

The prime minister said she was happy about the outcome of the discussions, as assistance to one nation in the region would effectively be assistance to all CARICOM nations.

Persad-Bissessar said the initiatives, for which the money will be used, will be given in due course.

“We know that the criminal elements operating in the Americas are very organized, in some instances to the extent that their resources exceed in number and sophistication in the resources of the state,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said the crime-fight in the region cannot be won without the cooperation among OAS states.

The prime minister said she also discussed with Obama about partnership with the Caribbean region for the procurement of fast patrol vessels.

She noted that these islands are “porous” and CARICOM cannot give adequate protection to man all these borders around every island.

The prime minister said T&T Ambassador to the United States Neil Parsan will follow up on this and will look at the Caribbean Basin Initiative, which will not only benefit Trinidad and Tobago but the Eastern Caribbean.

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