T&T yields
Two-island republic promises better accommodation for Jamaicans at Piarco Airport

TRINIDAD and Tobago (T&T) is to retrofit an area of its Piarco International Airport by July, to improve accommodation for Jamaicans refused entry into the two-island republic.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, made the announcement at Gordon House yesterday as the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of the House of Representatives completed its review of the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure.

Senator Johnson Smith told Jamaica’s 63 elected Members of Parliament (MPs), who jointly make up the SFC, that she has been informed of the decision in correspondence received from T&T’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator David Moses. This follows bilateral discussions during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) meeting just over a week ago.
Johnson Smith said that the issue of the treatment of Jamaicans who are denied entry at the Piarco Airport was a fairly complex one, but that the new development was an indication of the progress being made in their discussions.

She also noted the contribution of Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda in bilateral discussions with Trinidad and Tobago’s Trade and Industry Minister Senator Paula Gopee-Scoon, at the recent 42nd Regular Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and the 61st Special COTED Meeting of Trade and Energy Ministers in Georgetown, Guyana.

She said that, in respect of the discussions regarding the free movement of people, it has already been agreed to refer the matter to the Heads of Caricom (Caribbean Community) meeting in July.

However, she said that discussions have continued at the level of the high commissioners, as well as at the ministerial level, in the meantime.

“I am actually pleased to advise — as you know I not only had several discussions with my counterpart in Trinidad, Senator David Moses, but I was able to meet with him in the margins of the UNGASS Meeting in New York, based on which he sent a response in writing to the letter that I had sent before I left the island. He has now committed to retrofitting an appropriate area within the Piarco Airport by July of this year, to ensure they are able to more effectively treat with Jamaicans, and all nationals as a matter of fact, who use the Piarco Airport and who are denied entry,” she stated.

“It was always that there was no facility, so they simply used the departure lounge — which is inappropriate for an overnight stay. There were no bathroom facilities, etcetera. So, it was not a dignified setting. There will now be a designated area retrofitted to provide dignified and private accommodation for persons required to stay overnight, who are going to be returned,” she added.

Senator Johnson Smith said, on the issue of the treatment of Jamaican nationals in Trinidad, Senator Moses has also committed that in June of this year his Government will commence customer service training for immigration officials, as well as people such as security officials who must interact with visitors who are denied entry.

Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs and foreign trade, Dr Morais Guy, noted that there have been repeated calls for the ‘re-culturalisation’ of the two-island republic’s immigration officers in terms of how they treat nationals of other Caricom countries.

He said that Jamaica was second only to Guyana in terms of bad treatment and denial of entry at Piarco, “and there is a view that Trinidad had to train their immigration officers to improve their treatment of persons from other Caricom countries”.

Relations between Jamaica and T&T have been strained for several years now, due to increasing complaints from Jamaicans that they have been denied entry to Port-of-Spain, despite having met all qualifications required under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The treaty stipulates that no Caricom national should be turned away from another Caricom state unless the traveller is considered undesirable or posing a burden on the receiving state.


  1. Trinidad is not our problem,we are not very ambitious as a nation.
    For example,Danville Walker was assigned head of NEP,will soon be head of CTL ,while still being head of Jamaica Observer.
    Check his qualification and they are not impressive,yet he constantly get these jobs,holding down multiple executive government jobs at the same time while we sit on our hands .

    1. True about di Walker him, and about some of the people them that is not ambitious: it is not that you don’t have ambitious people, it just that dem pick and choose what them want to be ambitious in/for and of course those that are ambitious are not really in the majority – mainly because of lack a education, values etc. However,a bout time we as a people/country should stand up di same way pan all those that use, abuse and mistreat us, di govt when dem guh loo, pan di criminal dem too..but that is another story.. time we reoognize and understand how powerful we can be, when we unite as a people,to fight for our rights and the rights, justice, peace and favor of the our children- the future generation, to be not stepped on and ground into the ground..smh

  2. Still boycott dem ass, dem only understand when it hurt dem pocket..dyam bright and out of order..mek dem suffer fi di years dem mek wi people suffer..Jamaicans fi stop guh dem place all together..although some of use mek bad for the others..held on to di boycott deh

  3. So they have improved the holding area to deport Jamaicans, am I correct? BOYCOTT still stands. Why are they turning away Jamaicans? It would be interesting to see how many T&T nationals are denied entry into Jamaica yearly

  4. They were out of order. Our country has the best high school in the region. Our country also has the most young entrepreneurs. This is the only island that affords all children the same high school education regardless of class. If we were that useless and unproductive we could not have such a high demand for products. We should still ban all products from Trinidad. Real

  5. All dem doing is providing better facilities before dem kick you out. What has changed? kmt

  6. I felt really bad about the way they treated y’all ,its not a good look on my country at all.peace and love to all my jamaicans peeps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top