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Opposition wants info from T&T

Published: 
Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Venezuelan Parliament, which has an opposition majority, will be sending an official request to the T&T Government for information regarding the circumstances surrounding Saturday’s repatriation of 82 Venezuelan nationals.According to online news site NTN24 Venezuela, which has over 1.3 million viewers, the decision by the opposition National Assembly was prompted by the criticism put forward by the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) regarding the exercise.Deputy Carlos Valero, in his announcement, said, “We are going to meet with the largest number of people who have been affected, to request a formal meeting to the Embassy here in Caracas from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and if possible we will try to mobilise there to follow up.”

He was speaking during the ordinary session of the Legislative. According to T&T’s National Security Ministry, the deportation was a “voluntary” process in collaboration with Venezuela Ambassador in T&T Coromoto Godoy.But Valero publicly knocked Godoy’s decision “to coordinate and direct” an operation “against Venezuelans…instead of protecting their rights.”“A decision that cannot go unpunished,” Valero added.He reiterated that Venezuelans “are being expelled from their homeland, fleeing the crisis” and made a plea to the international community to extend “a lot of solidarity and consideration” with them. “We request of the international community to have a lot of solidarity and consideration with the Venezuelans who are being expelled from our country due to the terrible humanitarian crisis in which the ‘misrule’ of President Nicolás Maduro has submerged our compatriots,” Valero said.Speaking with the T&T Guardian under strict anonymity yesterday, a Venezuelan attorney said they received information that the 82 Venezuelan deportees, upon reaching Venezuela on Saturday night, had their travel and other respective documents allegedly taken from them by Venezuelan authorities. The attorney added that they were allowed to “go free” onto the streets of Caracas but without any money, food, water or clothes.“All they had was the clothes on their bodies and slippers on their feet…nada…no money,” the Venezuelan attorney said.A woman, who had her close male relative deported, said he had his asylum certificate.

“They still tell him he had to go and the certificate means nothing. He on the streets up to today, Wednesday, cannot go home because he lives 18 hours away from Caracas and he has no money to go home. He cannot even contact his family. He hungry…no food and water,” the woman, who did not want to be identified, said,The woman insisted that given past experiences and knowledge, persons who have been deported back to Venezuela would be “blacklisted.”

“They would have no identities and no passports, nothing to ever leave Venezuela again. Later on you would hear that is either they have died or been jailed for something because they blacklisted.”On Tuesday, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi met with the United Nations Resident Coordinator Richard Blewitt and Protection Officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ruben Barbado on the issue. In a release afterwards, the National Security Ministry said Dillon and Al-Rawi held the meeting to “correct the misinformation in the public domain” over Government’s handling of the voluntary repatriation of the Venezuelans. It also reiterated that the repatriation exercise was carried out on a voluntary basis in collaboration with Ambassador Godoy.

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