The PUP's scheduled educational trip to the Sarstoon, which was to take place this past Saturday, was called off late on Friday night. According to a release issued by the PUP the Party was having difficulties with the boats for the journey as they were unable to assure the boat captains that they would not be victimized by GOB.
On Friday, indications were that the group would not have been allowed to reach their first destination, the BDF's Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the river but according to the release issued by the PUP, GOB went a step forward as there was reportedly a barrage of overt intimidation of licensed boat captains and charter groups in Punta Gorda Town and southern maritime areas which untimely resulted in the last minute cancellation of the charter arrangements the party had made weeks ago.
Today Opposition Leader, Hon. John Briceno spoke to the media about the cancellation of the trip.
Honorable John Briceno – Leader of Opposition People’ United Party
“Several of the boats that we had lined up to take our people were doing last minute cancelation, they were under extreme pressure from the powers of Dean for them not to participate so it would have been difficult for us not to have been able to take the amount of people that had already said that they had wanted to go to the Sarstoon but just as important on Friday the Doctors advised me that I need to stay by my father because they were seeing that he was not getting any better he was getting worst and that he could have died at any moment and so their recommendation is that I should not leave I should stay around I am the oldest one in the family and I felt that it was my responsibility to be with my father and with my family and I felt it would not have been right for me to send members of my party to go to the Sarstoon where they maybe potential problems and I not be there with them I don’t think that I as a leader should send them and I am not there with them so when the recommendation was made by the people in charged said that it is best that we call it off I did not object because I wanted to be there with them and could not be there with them and I as a leader cannot send our people up where they could be potentially harm way I felt that I had to be there with them so when they made that recommendation I agree with them.”
There is no word at this time of a date for the trip to be rescheduled but it is expected that the Party will meet to discuss its further options.
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