Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran said T&T will maintain its business and economic relations with Venezuela although that country has been deemed "a threat to national security" by United States President Barack Obama.
He said it was Government's desire to see a diplomatic solution for the escalating diplomatic crisis between Venezuela and the US.
"We want to see a solution for the issues in Venezuela and now with respect to the issues between Venezuela and the United States. We would use whatever good offices we have to try and bring about a platform for a diplomatic solution to this situation that is evolving," the minister told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
Dookeran added: "Our joint exploration of the energy resources in the sea will continue. This will not affect the need for a diplomatic solution that I spoke about."
He said T&T wants to work with other countries in the region to find a solution to the emerging diplomatic crisis between Venezuela and the United States.
"We have indicated this desire to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC) as well as the Organization of American States (OAS), so within the corridors of those bodies we expect appropriate solutions," he said.
Two weeks ago, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited T&T and signed two energy agreements with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's. The two countries have also agreed to barter commodities and goods to enhance their economies.
Venezuelan Ambassador to T&T Coromoto Godoy, speaking at a media conference yesterday at the Venezuelan Embassy in Port-of-Spain yesterday afternoon said the relationship between Venezuela and T&T will not be impacted by recent developments.
"We have a great relationship with T&T. We are getting solidarity from the region and the T&T Government. There are over 2,500 Venezuelans who live and work in T&T," she said.
Dookeran's assurances about the strength of trading relations with Venezuela's comes one week after his Cabinet colleague, Trade Minister Vasant Bharath, said in response to questions from reporters that deteriorating relations between Venezuela and the US will not affect business activities between T&T and Venezuela. He also announced that and in a few weeks a delegation from T&T will be embarking on a trade mission to the South American nation.
"Our interest in Venezuela is to develop our trading relationship and long established diplomatic relationship with them. We do have a bilateral agreement with Venezuela that has existed for possibly close to 20 years so it really is a question of exercising the opportunities within that arrangement to allow our manufacturers a market share within the Venezuelan market. That is our intention within this point in time," he said.