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Wednesday 13 November 2019
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Fisherman helps Venezuelan mate: ‘Don’t send them back!’

Mayaro fisherman Kowayne Samaroo. Photo James Lanser
Mayaro fisherman Kowayne Samaroo. Photo James Lanser

Mayaro fisherman Kowayne Samaroo came to assist his Venezuelan deckhand in getting registered this morning at the Queens Park Oval. Samaroo hired Alex Hermano who he now calls a friend. He is urging Trinidadians to be welcoming of the migrants.

Samaroo says he has four boats and, owing to a lack of labour, can only operate one.

"I would like even more of these hard workers. Locally, people don't want to work anymore."

Samaroo says most of the jobs the migrants are taking are jobs that Trinidadians have been despising and are still not willing to do. "We are looking past these jobs every single day.”

Samaroo said while the migration should be regulated, it would be inhumane to send the migrants back to Venezuela. "What are we sending them back to do? Kill one another? To make them watch their own children suffer?

"All humans should be treated equally. If Trinidadians are content with looking past, then at least allow them to survive by doing that which you do not want to do.

"Honestly I must say thanks to the government for granting Venezuelans this ability to work. Some people are saying send them back but I say do not send them back."

Samaroo said: "Our economy could collapse tomorrow" and that if this were to happen Trinidadians would seek employment elsewhere just as the Venezuelans are doing.

Venezuelans line up outside the Queen's Park Oval on day five of the Government's registration. Photo by James Lanser

When asked how his experience has been so far, Samaroo said he did not know how to access the information online but was still in positive spirits and said he will get his worker registered as soon as possible.

Alongside Hermano, an estimated 100 Venezuelans were seeking registration this morning. The process seemed to be moving seamlessly and by 10 am the line had subsided.

Those without their printed documents headed over to the "copy man" who was printing, scanning and photocopying the needed document just opposite the oval from his car.

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