Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / UN concerned by T&T’s “repatriation” of 82 Venezuelans, including asylum seekers

UN concerned by T&T’s “repatriation” of 82 Venezuelans, including asylum seekers

“The United Nations is concerned for the welfare of these people and is in contact with the appropriate authorities in Port-of-Spain to ensure that any person in need of protection will get it without fail.”

The following media statement on the “repatriation” of 82 Venezuelans from Trinidad and Tobago was issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

Photo: A Venezuelan protester drapes herself in a message that reads “There is no food.”
(Copyright CNN)

The United Nations System in Trinidad and Tobago is concerned after authorities in Trinidad and Tobago announced they had facilitated the return to Venezuela of scores of Venezuelan citizens, including asylum seekers, who had been in detention.

“The United Nations is concerned for the welfare of these people and is in contact with the appropriate authorities in Port-of-Spain to ensure that any person in need of protection will get it without fail,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Richard Blewitt, today.

Mr Blewitt’s comments came after the Ministry of National Security announced that 82 Venezuelan citizens who had been held in detention in Trinidad and Tobago had been turned over to the Venezuelan Embassy for repatriation to Venezuela.

The group, comprising 53 men and 29 women, included several individuals who had been registered as asylum seekers in Trinidad and Tobago as well as others who had initiated asylum requests or had signalled an intention to do so.

They were flown out of Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday aboard a Venezuelan Government aircraft. The Ministry statement said all returns were voluntary although this could not be verified independently by United Nations observers.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (right) and Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro shake hands during a joint media conference in Port-of-Spain on 23 May 2016.
(Copyright Alva Viarruel/AFP 2016/Wired868)

Venezuelans have been leaving their country in growing numbers, many in need of international protection and seeking temporary refuge in countries of the Americas region, including in some Caribbean small island-States like Trinidad and Tobago.

The United Nations and its local partners have encouraged the prompt adoption of national legislation on refugee issues and work together to support the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in its efforts to develop an efficient and secure asylum system.

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3 comments

  1. Next time, invite the UN please, and give them a deadline to show up. If they don’t show then they can’t complain. smh It’s really not that difficult to do the right thing. Nobody had a twinge of conscience while repatriating individuals who had sought asylum? We live in a small world – whoever made that unilateral decision without considering the consequences in the light of the Venezuela situation, I hope you learned your lesson.

  2. Since When. What happened to Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean when they were in problems that they did not create..

  3. Hummm
    Our government dont care about its own supporters far less those who dont support them an even worse yet, venezs?