Jardinero Alberto Ignacio Ardila//
Ramadharsingh: Govt not coping with refugees

Due to the dire situation in Venezuela, migrants have been flooding into TT, especially over the last few weeks, at a rapid pace, claimed Siparia Regional Corporation chairman Glen Ramadharsingh last Thursday.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

Speaking about the influx of Venezuelans, Ramadharsingh said the infrastructure to protect TT‘s borders is woefully absent, and hence: “There are severe and drastic consequences for the economy, national security and the preservation of human life.”

The infrastructure to receive Venezuelans on a daily basis, he said, is poor and the system is weakened by limited resources and inefficiency in the National Security Ministry.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Venezuela

At the Immigration Detention Centre “mysteriously” located in Aripo, he said, there are concerns over ill-treatment and the violation of human rights, in a direct contradiction of the norms and values of any progressive, civilised society.

Ramadharsingh said National Security Minister Stuart Young spoke of a plan for the foreigners.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Piloto

Where are the specifics? Where are the details? None so far has been forthcoming and the government seems to be woefully unprepared. This is a time bomb that is ticking away.”

While Rome is burning, he said, Government and the authorities are fiddling away.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

Power outages in Venezuela continue, after five days, and people there have been given no independent explanation. In Ramadharsingh’s view this is simply part of the country’s long deterioration.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila

The Wall Street Journal reported that the independent health watchdog Codevida reported last week that 15 dialysis patients have died as a result and some 10,000 more were at risk if they continue without treatment

Venezuelan ferry operators have started coming back into TT after the international port resumed operations recently. The ferry Angel del Orinoco was the first to arrive. with more than eight other vessels expected to dock here

Councillor for Cedros Shankar Teelucksingh said every week more than 700 Venezuelans come to TT, and he called for overseas aid to set up a base in Cedros to help them

Teelucksingh said, hundreds of Venezuelans are coming in illegally through Erin, Morne Diablo, Quinam, Icacos and Moruga. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro rejected humanitarian aid from the US, so the situation is worse than ever before.

“We need the US and the UN to come to Cedros and set up a humanitarian aid shelter for the people,” Teelucksingh said.