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Venezuelans warrant regularisation not exploitation

Published: 
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Before we start jumping to conclusions and making vulgar statements of the people of Venezuela coming to this country, we should try to understand what has taken place there and what has propelled the people to flee.

We knew that Venezuela was one of the world’s largest producers of oil and gas but after the demise of Hugo Chavez, the country has taken a turn for the worse because of mismanagement and alleged corruption.

On one hand, our government cannot and should not permit human trafficking because we have already adopted stringent laws to indict and prosecute these traffickers, but since the inception which is about five years ago, no one has been convicted.

On the other hand, some of us are quick to call the Venezuelan women prostitutes or “putas.”

In fact, not all the women are here to indulge in prostitution, they are here looking for employment so that they can send money back home to feed and clothes their families and their children.

We should afford these people the same status we afforded the people of Dominica when they had no food and water and were seeking aid to survive. Our government then, made provisions to allow them refugee status so as to integrate in our society for at least six months. I firmly believe we should grant these Venezuelans temporary protected status and in addition, we should make provisions to regularise or provide working permits so that they will no longer be on the run or subjected to the beck and call of traffickers. As long as we can afford some level of protection we will can prevent cases of forced labour or forced prostitution.

JAY G RAKHAR, New York

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