Naparima MP Rodney Charles is calling on National Security Minister Stuart Young to stop playing games and level with the population on whether or not our borders are on complete lock down, as he recently stated.
Media reports indicate that residents of Icacos and Cedros are seeing no heightened activity by the TT “Ghost Guard” in the waters between Venezuela and TT; or increased monitoring by TTPS along our Southwest peninsula coastline.
There are also reports that our “Ghost Guard” vessels are parked up for supplies including fuel, and that untold boatloads of Venezuelans are landing on our shores daily.
An article in today’s Guardian states, “residents said the number of illegal Venezuelans had increased since violent protests erupted in Venezuela following the attempt by Opposition leader, Juan Guaido to oust President Nicolas Maduro.” The article further stated that there was no physical proof of additional security, no additional police, soldiers or Coast Guard.
This as Minister Young told the country during Parliament on March 22nd, when the question was raised on border security, that security officials were working hard to secure the country’s borders and there wasn’t any evidence that the TT Coast Guard was missing.
“This is not the time for empty phrases, soothing statements and political spins which serve only to lull the country into a false sense of security while we lose the very soul of our country daily and are inundated with hundreds of asylum seekers.”
The handling of this crisis is merely another example of the gross incompetence of this Rowley administration. They do not know how many Venezuelans can be absorbed without overwhelming our schools and hospitals. Or how many Venezuelans are in our midst. We have no profiles on asylum seekers here – who are criminals, who are doctors, engineers or vagrants.
We have no idea how many will arrive given the PNM’s ill-conceived amnesty which incentivized Venezuelans to risk lives and limbs to beat arbitrarily set deadlines.
They have no policy to integrate Venezuelans. Our teachers will soon be confronted with the need to teach in Spanish with absolutely no preparation. The requisite impact assessments have not be done to determine how we will cope with potentially 130,000 Venezuelans, given the reports of the deterioration next door leading to increased arrivals. A ten percent refugee population puts us in the top three countries in the world on a per capita basis for hosting refugees. Only Jordan may beat us.
The PNM has no idea from a geopolitical standpoint how to protect our vital interests given that we are at odds with our main trading partners – the US, Canada and the EU.
This incompetent PNM administration has not even thought of a policy towards asylum seekers after the six month or one year grace period.
We are witnessing the imminent collapse of our country, a migrant population that will challenge our tottering institutions, and all this while those elected to govern fiddle, telling us that all is well.
The UNC repeats its call for a well thought out refugee policy that is humane, cognizant of our international commitments on refugees, mindful of our absorptive capacity, which is developed consensually and which incorporates global best practices.