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Sunday 26 January 2020
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Letters to the Editor

From Venezuela hell to detention in TT

THE EDITOR: How many Venezuelans are in the Immigration Detention Centre in Aripo? The exact number seems to be a secret, with the reasons for them being detained somewhat inconsistent with local laws and also universal human rights standards.

After reading an interview with the Nicolas Maduro ambassador in TT in the Sunday Newsday of November 10, 2019, I was left with many concerns.

His offer of “goodies” to the Venezuelans in this country made me question his true intentions, as those migrants are here because they are running from the tyranny and genocide of the regime he represents.

It is no secret that in Venezuela there are over 1,000 political prisoners who, as is their constitutional right, have denounced the Maduro violations of human rights, such as the detention of protesters and torture of innocent people, including students, who go onto the streets to fight for a better future, for freedom, and for food and medicine.

So reflecting on this facade that the representative of the Bolivarian Republic occupying the Venezuelan embassy is proclaiming, I think of the many Venezuelans who are confined at the detention centre who have no passports and were forced to flee their country to fulfil basic human necessities like food and security. And I wonder what this regime representative is going to do to help over 100 innocent Venezuelan migrants, whose only “crime” was to escape from hunger and to seek a better life.

Many of those detained have no communication with relatives, who don’t even know they are there, and many others spend days detained in police stations.

Venezuelans in TT are asking themselves who is really representing them at this embassy? Is it the same regime they are fleeing from?

Is TT is going to legalise all those Venezuelans entering the country weekly? What is their status if the amnesty is no longer an option? Where are the new migrants that continue to arrive going to receive medical attention and where are their children going to attend school?

Sadly, Venezuelans who are fleeing to TT today, escaping the tyranny of the Maduro regime, are just moving their suffering from one land to another. And the TT Government refuses to acknowledge that the situation will continue and grow in 2020, making it more difficult for proper planning to lessen the social impact on the country.

In the meantime, I think it is extremely important that TT citizens reflect on why 13 countries in the Americas do not recognise Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Why is Caricom so afraid to take a position against the Venezuelan regime that is responsible for the forced migration of over 4.5 million Venezuelans?

HEIDI DIQUEZ

via e-mail

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