VENEZUELANS IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - NAVIGATING FROM ONE HELL TO ANOTHER
The Venezuelan boat people take less than two hours to go from the hardships of hunger and precariousness in the East of the country to the exploitation and illegality in the neighboring island of Trinidad. This is what it takes them to cross from coast to coast the waters of the Gulf of Paria, cloistered by landforms with gloomy names, like the Serpent’s Mouth and the Dragon’s Mouths. The hopes of many remain behind while crossing the strait, facing a reality so hard that, in the long run, deportation seems a relief. As in a tricky operation, two Armando.info reporters went to both banks to see what motivates those who face this journey, and what businesses and procedures have been set up based on their misery.
26/08/2018 11:25:36 |
Since the borders to Colombia and Brazil are packed and there is minimal access to foreign currency to reach other desirable destinations, crossing to Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most accessible routes for those in distress seeking to flee Venezuela. Relocating them is the business of the 'coyotes' who are based in the states of Sucre or Delta Amacuro, while cheating them is that of the boatmen, fishermen, smugglers and security forces that haunt them.
26/08/2018 0:00:00 |
Without human rights officers at the ports of entry or legal system that protects the refuge, Venezuelans migrating to the Caribbean island find relief from hunger and shortages. In return, they are exposed to labor exploitation and the constant persecution of corrupt authorities. On many occasions they end up in detention centers with inhumane conditions, from which only those who pay large amounts of money in fines are saved. The asylum request is a weak shield that hardly helps in case of arrest. Yet, the number of those who try their luck to earn a few dollars grows.