"Hush your mouth please!"
So said the leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah, who charged that the US ambassador to TT Joseph Mondello does not have the moral authority to comment about Venezuelans' migration in TT.
“Mr Mondello has no rights, no moral authority, zero, to speak about how we (TT) are dealing with migrant people here," Abdulah said on Wednesday at a press conference at the party’s headquarters at Lord Street in San Fernando.
"It is well known that the administration which he represents, the (Donald) Trump administration, was separating children from their parents who came in together at the US/Mexico border.
“Some were separated from their parents. Some parents were deported, and children were kept in cages in custody in the US. Up to now, there are children whose parents cannot be relocated. There are children in the US held in detentions, and nobody knows where their parents are.”
Last week, a statement from the US embassy in TT quoted Mondello as blaming the Nicolas Maduro-led regime for Venezuela's ongoing humanitarian crisis.
Mondello accused the regime of committing grave human rights violations and crimes in contravention of international law, including extra-judicial executions, torture, arbitrary detentions, and excessive use of force.
The ambassador pledged that the US “will continue to work with TT” to help mitigate the consequences of this crisis. He also said he looks forward to the day when Venezuelans feel safe and secure enough to return home and rebuild their country rather than seek refuge elsewhere.
The MSJ leader suggested that Mondello should tell his “friend” (Trump) to concede the election to the president-elect Joe Biden.
“Tell your partner about elections and leave Venezuela out of it. You have no moral authority to tell anybody about election anywhere,” Abdulah said.
Abdulah acknowledged that the TT borders were not totally secured, noting efforts of local in authorities dealing with illegal entries. He cited the recent repatriation of 160 Venezuelans.
“It is very difficult to completely seal our maritime borders given the close proximity to Venezuela. But much more has to be done not only with respect to migrants. As part of the (illegal) migration, we are getting other illegal activities like human trafficking, drug running, arms and ammunition, and so on.”
He called on government to make sure that TT's borders are secured and the issues of other criminal activities are adequately addressed.