Saturday 14 December, 2019

Venezuelan organization vexed over Rowley's 'refugee camp' comment

The organization of Venezuelans Persecuted in Exile (Veppex) is criticizing statements by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who said T&T is not a refugee camp for illegal immigrants.

"The organization of Venezuelans persecuted in exile (Veppex) rejects the statements by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who stated that his country is not a refugee camp in Venezuela and thus justified the deportation of 82 Venezuelans seeking Shelter in that country."

Dr Rowley made the comment while speaking with members of the media on April 26, following heavy criticism from representatives of the United Nations over T&T’s decision to repatriate 82 Venezuelans earlier this month.

Veppex President, José Antonio Hill, said the comments were reprehensible especially as Venezuelans are in need of assistance.

“These statements are shameful and hurtful to a community that requires the utmost understanding and help of the countries of the international community where Venezuelans flee for refuge to escape the tragedy that lives in Venezuela,” the statement said.

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Venezuela is currently in a state of chaos as the country faces social, economic issues, hyperinflation and shortages of food, medicine and other supplies. The country is also at the butt end of US sanctions which have forced the country’s nationals to seek employment in other countries.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report dated August 2017, there are an estimated 40,000 Venezuelans in T&T.

Venezuelans have flocked to Colombia, Brazil Panama and numerous other countries seeking refuge following the chaos that has plagued their country.


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