Gov’t stands ready to support Guyanese affected by unrest in Venezuela

DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 12

State Minister Joseph Harmon on Friday expressed Government’s willingness to provide support to Guyanese residing in Venezuela’s affected Puerto Ordaz, who are desirous of returning home in light of political and economic unrest there.

He assured that arrangements are in place at our borders to receive Guyanese and even Venezuelans seeking refuge. The Minister noted that Guyana has international obligations to provide “certain limited” facilities to these persons.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

Minister Harmon said it has been observed that very often, affected persons do not wait on government’s assistance, rather they make their ways across the border settling in places like Mabaruma, Moruca and Port Kaituma in Region One (Barima-Waini).

“We have a very robust immigration outfit there and robust medical facilities in those areas because last year there were talks about outbreaks of certain types of diseases in Venezuela and we put the mechanism at those ports to deal with something like that.”

Asked about the welfare of staff of the Honorary Consul in Venezuela, the State Minister said it is the call of the Ambassador to determine if there is an untenable security situation.

“I am not aware that the embassy staff has made a request to say they feel threatened and their security is affected but what I can say to you is that it is something we will continue to monitor, ” he assured.

Minister Harmon also expressed the belief that Venezuelan authorities are continuing to provide security for Guyana’s staff of the Honorary Consul.

There has been reports of looting and unrest in the South American country over the past few weeks, which follows a series of similar events taking place over the past year. The country continues to suffer from the terrible recession which has resulted in severe food shortages.

By: Stacy Carmichael

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