Venezuelans who benefited from an 18-month long permission to work and live in this country will likely be granted an extension of a further six-months from January, says the Minister of National Security.
Giving an update on the status of the 16,523 people who benefited from the registration exercise in June 2019, Minister Stuart Young said they will likely have to provide updated information about where they are working and living before the extension is granted.
Young said he was optimistic that Cabinet would approve a six-month extension in the first instance but warned that no new Venezuelan will be allowed to register. He said the update of personal information will be of great assistance to the state.
The minister also expanded on the outcome of a virtual meeting he held on Friday with the Venezuelan foreign and interior minister.
He said the Venezuelan authorities agreed to share more information with TT and accused a non-governmental organisation with international ties to human smuggling.
Young said the foreigners also identified criminal elements from Venezuela who were part of an organised crime operation which was responsible for human trafficking of migrants to our shores.
Asked whether Caricom would seek to convince the new US administration to reduce the harsh sanctions imposed on Venezuelan people, the Prime Minister said the position of Caricom was to support “any all initiatives” to encourage a discussion of dialogue in Venezuela where that country will come to conclusion in its best interest.
Dr Rowley said it was clear that the sanctions imposed by the US had made the situation worse for the people of Venezuela rather than force a regime change.
He noted that the influx of migrants to this country would have been ten-fold if there had been a “physical intervention” to oust the Maduro administration and this country would have been in “dire straits.”