Venezuelans afraid of persecution following line of questioning

Some of the 115 Venezuelans who completed registration at Achievers Banquet Hall in San Fernando on Friday say they are surprised at the line of questions they were asked during their brief interviews by Immigration.

Some expressed fear of being persecuted politically if the information they divulged was shared. 

Speaking to Guardian Media through our translator Angie Ramnarine, Venezuelan Juan Fernandes said the questions were limited and did not take into account their medical problems or their medical needs.

Long lines of migrants wait to register

Hours be­fore the of­fi­cial start of reg­is­tra­tion be­gan, hun­dreds of Venezue­lans be­gan as­sem­bling out­side of Achiev­ers Ban­quet Hall at Dun­can Vil­lage, San Fer­nan­do.

Most had spent the night hav­ing walked with chairs and cush­ions in an­tic­i­pa­tion for a long night. Ac­cus­tomed to hav­ing to line up for ba­sic ameni­ties in their home coun­try, the Venezue­lans were in good spir­its, ea­ger­ly ex­press­ing their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the T&T peo­ple who had as­sist­ed them.

Central Bank Governor: Hosting Venezuelans could cost $620M/year

The Central Bank Governor has estimated that it will cost the state around $620 million dollars a year to support the Venezuelans who have migrated to this country.

Dr Alvin Hilaire said at first he was skeptical about that figure but then said after looking at the impact on Colombia, that 600-odd million-dollar figure seemed plausible.

Colombia has so far taken in almost 1.2 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees. This has cost that country around 0.4% of its GDP.

More Venezuelans flock to Irwin Park

More homeless Venezuelans are trickling to Irwin Park facility in Siparia hoping to get free meals, clothing and shelter.

When Guardian Media visited the facility on Monday more than 20 Venezuelans were lounging on cots, and on chairs.

There were enough food and drinks to feed a hundred more people.

Itilda Wharwood from the Siparia Community Association and voluntary translator Jennifer Joan Cowie have been spending their time at the facility ensuring that people do not take advantage of the Venezuelans.

Migrant squatting, prostitution worry MPs

Squat­ting, squab­bles and sex-re­lat­ed prob­lems.

Re­ports of squat­ting in Cen­tral Trinidad by some Venezue­lans and the oc­cu­pan­cy of aban­doned South hous­es are among the mixed bag of is­sues re­sult­ing from the in­flux of mi­grants to T&T in re­cent months.

Oth­er is­sues in­clude cer­tain Clax­ton Bay-based Venezue­lan women be­ing fol­lowed home by T&T men af­ter work—and maxi taxis fer­ry­ing “ar­rivals” out of cer­tain La Brea coastal ar­eas.

Presbyterian Church to feed Venezeulans

Sad­dened by the en­slave­ment of Venezue­lan mi­grants who are on­ly seek­ing to fill emp­ty stom­achs in T&T, re­cent­ly-in­stalled mod­er­a­tor of the Pres­by­ter­ian Church, Rev Joy Ab­dul-Mo­han, says her flock will use their re­sources to al­le­vi­ate the mi­grants’ hunger.

She said it was wor­ri­some to think that po­lice of­fi­cers were in­volved in hu­man traf­fick­ing of refugees to have them prac­tice mod­ern day slav­ery.

Pregnant woman, baby among 17 Venezuelans found in abandoned Chatham hotel

Seventeen Venezuelans have been caught hiding in an abandoned hotel infested with bats and rats at Chatham South beach.

They were picked up by the T&T Coast Guard after dawn, having been dropped off by a Venezuelan pirogue.

Among the 17 Venezuelans were nine females, one of whom is pregnant, a baby and seven men.

A source said the women were hiding in the abandoned hotel; while some were found in the bushes and on the beach.

The patrolling officers became alerted when they saw a few cars, waiting to pick up the Venezuelans.

Venezuelan families seek help

Having endured a grueling boat ride from Tucupita to Trinidad and then several days of hiding in the forests of Palo Seco before their arrests, 17 Venezuelans have finally settled into a house at Morne Diablo, Penal.

They have limited food, a trickle of water and no medicine for their sick children.

Yet to them Trinidad is like a paradise. Compared to their homeland, there is no shortage of food here. The family gave Guardian Media an exclusive interview of their plight and their hopes for the future.

The family is renting the house for $3,000 a month.