Khan: I don't know of Venezuela's humanitarian crisis
Photo: Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Franklin Khan.
Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Franklin Khan, said he was not aware of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
Speaking at a media briefing on Sunday afternoon with reference to Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela's Dragon Field gas deal, Khan referred to questions put forward by former minister Devant Maharaj over humanitarian issues in Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago's inadvertent support of the Maduro regime by agreeing to the contract.
"I do not know what humanitarian crisis he is speaking about."
"The fact of the matter is (that) our foreign relations policy is, we do not interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
"If there are accusations of human rights violations or any matters pertaining to, there are agencies of the United Nations whose responsibility to deal with that, it is not Trinidad and Tobago's responsibility, and as far as I am aware, no United Nations agency has so adjudicated," he said.
Maharaj accused government of closing its eyes to reports of human rights violations against Venezuelan migrants and a report by the United Nations which said Venezuela is reaching a 'crisis moment'.
The UN has urged countries to support Venezuelan refugees and migrants.
According to a UN report, as of June, there were about 2.3 million Venezuelans living abroad.
Nine out of 10 have sought refuge in countries within Latin America, especially Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Brazil. The trends are accelerating with a total of about 2,700 to 4,000 arrivals in those neighbouring countries daily.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), close to half a million have fled to Ecuador in 2018 alone.
The UN expressed concern for the most vulnerable, including adolescent boys and girls, women, people trying to reunite with their families, and unaccompanied and separated children who are unlikely to be able to meet documentation requirements and are therefore more at-risk of facing exploitation, trafficking and violence.
Some Venezuelans expressed anger that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley supported a dictatorial regime by supporting the deal.
"Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago becomes complicit in the dictatorship and expulsion of Venezuelans," said Twitter user @juanjoaldaz
Others said that Venezuelans are being ill-treated in Trinidad and Tobago.
"Meanwhile in Trinidad they treat our brothers like rubbish, those black ***. They do not want us in their country but if they want to make agreements here," said Twitter user @NoraGuillen63.
Twitter user @VVSinMiedo:
"It's not that we didn't know it, but it confirms once again the immense hatred that the dictatorship has against Venezuelans when they receive the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago with honors."
Venezuelans respond in anger to Venezuela/T&T gas deal
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