Minister of National Security Stuart Young says only a few phrases in the most recent US travel advisory have brought any concern to him.
The US Embassy released its latest travel advisory for US citizens visiting Trinidad on Wednesday, but Young explained yesterday that the advisory was very similar to the last few from the US.
"The only changes in language were stylistic changes. There has been no change in the US travel advisory system, in fact, I made this point during the Carnival period, that it was a good endorsement of all we had been doing at National Security that none of our foreign ally countries in issuing travel advisories had changed it on us," Young at Thursday's post-Cabinet press briefing at the Diplomatic Centre.
"The US travel advisory that was recently released does not increase any threat level or any concern about criminal activity compared to the last one."
However, Young was concerned that the threat of terrorist activity remained listed in the advisory.
The advisory stated, "Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related and geographically concentrated.
"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."
Young said he had approached US officials about the terrorist statement.
"I've engaged the US embassy here in Trinidad and told them I'd like the message sent back to the US government in Washington that we want to relook some of the language in there. In particular, the language with regard to terrorist attacks etc which were previously employed in the travel advisory last year when we were facing a completely different period of time," the National Security Minister said.
He knocked those who attempted to use the release to create tension in the country.
Young said, "All of those fear-mongers out there, all of those persons trying to create some sense of panic, some sense of distortion of truth, some sense of distortion of reality. There has been no upgrade in the travel advisory in the sense of any threat analysis for Trinidad and Tobago by our US partners."