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Sunday 21 July 2019
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Fuel problems delay the return of Cedros fishermen

An acute fuel shortage in Venezuela is being blamed for the delay in the return of three fishermen held last week Thursday by the Guardia Nacional for illegally fishing in Venezuela’s territorial waters.

Newsday learnt that on Tuesday, Cedros fishermen Awardnath Hajarie, 52; his son Nicholas, 26, and friend Shami Seepersad, 35, appeared in a court in Tucupita and were later released.

“They have no gas to make the trip back to Trinidad. Apart from that, I heard that they are okay. We are just waiting and hoping. This is really hard, I don’t know what to say again,” said Hajarie’s common-law wife Hermatie Sankar. Sankar, 50, is set to marry Hajarie on May 16. But with her husband to be, son and their friend still in Venezuela, she is literally praying for their safe return, “as soon as possible”. Sankar is a mother of four and grandmother of five.

Last week Thursday, the fishermen were at sea off the coast of Cedros when armed members of the Guardia Nacional intercepted their boat. The foreigners forced them out of the pirogue and onto theirs and then sailed away.

A Trinidadian man recorded the incident and footage uploaded to social media has since gone viral.

According to Tane Tanae Noticias, a local newspaper in Tucupita, Venezuelans saw a small boat in which three men were travelling in waters off Pedernales municipality which is part of the Delta Amacuro State. The foreign-speaking officials arrested the fishermen for illegally fishing in Venezuelan territory. The case was referred to the public prosecutor’s office, according to the article.

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