Home News Venezuelans entering legally are welcome – Govt
The Government of Guyana has stated that Venezuelans wanting to escape the deplorable conditions in their home country caused by a deteriorating economic crisis, are welcome here, but they must enter through legal means.
This position comes three days after 14 Venezuelans were deported after it was found that they had entered Guyana illegally.
According to Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Wednesday, Government has a humanitarian responsibility to accept Venezuelans coming here in search of better lives but maintained that they should not do so illegally.
In fact, he stated that Guyana is part of international agreements to give support to countries in situations like Venezuela.
“We have made it clear that on humanitarian grounds we will not turn back Venezuelans who come to seek help here in Guyana… so anybody coming from Venezuela for food and things like that, we support people who come to Guyana on those grounds,” the Minister noted.
However, he outlined “We of course have our responsibility to ensure the integrity of our borders and that the immigration procedures which are applied to persons coming to Guyana, we will apply those procedures.”
Asked whether Government would consider relaxing restrictions on those Venezuelans entering the country illegally, Harmon shutdown the idea and reiterated that Guyana’s laws must be adhered to at all times.
“Any person who comes to Guyana and are deported, have actually violated some parts of our laws… the Government will not tell the courts how to act. The fact that the persons were brought to court meant there would have been some offence that was committed,” the Minister of State posited.
On Monday, 14 Venezuelans were deported to the neighbouring state after they were found illegally in Guyana. Among those refugees deported were five mothers and nine fathers who were miners.
According to court documents, the group of Venezuelans illegally entered Guyana by sea in the vicinity of Iterinbang, Cuyuni River, Region Seven.
With the help of a translator, the refugees explained that they departed Venezuela with the hopes of finding jobs in Guyana to support their families back home.
The women explained that they were punishing in Venezuela since there were no jobs and only limited food available. Meanwhile, the men told the court that it was a struggle to provide for their families in Venezuela, as such, they came to Guyana in search for work.
Sources have confirmed that an additional 100 more are expected to be deported in the coming weeks.
Back in May, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had declared a 60-day State of Emergency as the country experiences economic turmoil following the decline of oil prices on the world market over the past months.
Reports coming out of the Spanish speaking nation reveal that there is a massive food shortage and limited access to basic health care and basic amenities, such as electricity. Reports of rampant outbursts of looting and violence are also emerging from the neighbouring country.
With the situation in Venezuela deteriorating and no evidence of an economic turn-around, it was predicted that there will be a refugee crisis in the region as persons from the Spanish speaking country are likely to flee to neighbouring nations. (Vahnu Manickchand)