Relatives of arrested Venezuelans: Don't send them back

The relatives of 13 Venezuelans being held in Chaguaramas and awaiting repatriation have asked the TT government to allow them to stay here.

The seven adults and six children were arrested for illegal entry by the Erin and Santa Flora police on September 26, after disembarking from a canoe.

Luis Antonio Rodríguez, Argenis Capriata, Emilys González and Franchesca González told Newsday that their relatives arrived independently, fleeing the socioeconomic crisis in their country.

“They only told us that they were being held at the Chaguaramas Heliport and that they are going to be repatriated to Venezuela,” González said.

She believes they risked their lives for their children.

"Parents do whatever it takes for their children, so they come to this country to try to work to buy a little food for everyone," she said.

The 13 are isolated in quarantine along with another group of Venezuelans who were recently detained.

"There is a disabled child who deserves urgent medical attention. We only ask the TT government to allow these children and their parents to stay here, to supervise them and help them a little," Rodríguez said.

These people reportedly asked for support from the Venezuelan embassy in TT, but got no response.

In a statement sent to Newsday, the embassy said its responsibilities adhere to international law.

“The plans that each Venezuelan has in Trinidad and Tobago do not depend on us. Their migratory situation in foreign territory is the exclusive competence of the receiving state, in this case Trinidad and Tobago,” it said.


"Relatives of arrested Venezuelans: Don’t send them back"

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