29 People (Children Among Them) Deported from Trinidad

The dollar price reached a million bolivars, once again; Another doctor dies in Zulia of COVID-19; The IACHR expressed concern for the attitude of Trinidad and Tobago regarding Venezuelan refugees

Their family members were left in the dark.

Photo: El Nacional

  • On November 17th, two boats with 29 people (13 adults and 16 minors) arrived to Trinidad and Tobago, but was intercepted by authorities. They were detained until November 22nd, when their hearing was scheduled, only there was no hearing because they were deported (or expelled) from Trinidad in two wooden boats, despite the weather conditions and the tides between both countries. They were supposed to make it to La Barra, in Delta Amacuro state, a 40 minute trip that the boats couldn’t make, spending hours adrift at sea. The youngest of the group, with family members who legally reside in Trinidad and Tobago, were expecting to meet their families but officers didn’t accept the documents proving those ties. Despite Trinidad and Tobago being a signatory member of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, they violated the principle of not sending refugees back. The regime considers Trinidad a political ally, so it has kept quiet about the tragedies migrants like these have to go through. 
  • In a video posted by OAS Commissioner for the Venezuelan Migrant Crisis David Smolansky, Eliécer Torres spoke in behalf of the families, saying there was a yellow level weather alert, that boats weren’t registered or identified and that no authority is claiming responsibility for the deportation. He also said that some children are dehydrated and demanded an investigation. Journalist Francisco Marín assured he’s in contact with the families and that the people deported aren’t missing in international waters; they managed to arrive at La Barra, but transit to the town of Tucupita requires hours of traveling by river and that’s when they lost contact. 
  • AN Speaker and caretaker President Juan Guaidó announced that the National Assembly is investigating facts about the deportation of 16 minors, because in the last few weeks we’ve seen repeated actions against Venezuelan refugees in Trinidad and Tobago. He added that Venezuelans aren’t voluntarily migrating; they’re fleeing. 
  • The caretaker government’s Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Julio Borges asked the UNHCR to intercede in the name of these refugees. The IACHR also expressed concern for the deportation and exhorted Trinidad and Tobago to guarantee the entrance of Venezuelans seeking international protection for urgent humanitarian reasons, and to respect the non-refoulement principle. They also exhorted Trinidad and Tobago to strictly observe the principles of protection of migrant children and teenagers and consider their wellbeing in the decisions that affect them. 
  • Nicolás hasn’t spoken out on the case, despite the outroar on social media, with the hashtag #DóndeEstánLos16 (“Where are the 16?”). Chavismo focused on Nicolás’s birthday. 
  • The dollar’s value already reached a million bolivars per dollar. It’s not the first time. In May 2018, Nicolás achieved it with the previous denomination, “bolívar fuerte”, even though by the end of that month it had further devaluated: the black market dollar went as high as 2 million bolivars and then over 6 million, before they took five zeroes off that denomination. In this version of the country, better stocked but a lot poorer than in 2018, despite both currency reconversions in 2007 and 2018, the dollar reached a million bolivars again. We’re still one week away from the end of November, but so far this month, the bolivar lost 47.77% of its value: almost half its value in three weeks, same time the electoral campaign has been going on. A campaign for which chavismo decided to multiply the amount of bolivars available, and with it, fired up the push to buy dollars. The formula will transcend the campaign because deep down it’s a State that can’t finance its own expenses, so they invent bolivars. Chavismo is a misery factory. 
  • Eudis Girot, director of the Unitary Federation of Oil Workers, will be presented before the terrorism court in Caracas. Girot has been one of the most critical union leaders in the oil industry and the one who has explained the refinery crisis better. He was arbitrarily detained by Military Intelligence officers on November 19th. 
  • Los Llanos Human Rights Foundation (Fundehullan) denounced the arbitrary detention and cruel treatment against Dr. Ligia Salcedo: “At the Los Pinos gas station in Tinaquillo, Cojedes, by orders of commander of state police Willys Morales.” Fundehullan demands her immediate release.
  • Cuatro por Venezuela, an NGO providing help to Venezuelans in need, dedicated next Tuesday’s #GivingTuesday to collecting funds to pay for the medicine of 2,600 transplant patients: “They need an average of 120 dollars per month to pay for medical care after a transplant,” said Gloria Mattiuzzi. They hope to collect 20,000 dollars the day of the Un Día Para Dar event.
  • Freddy Ñañez reported 308 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths in Venezuela, for a total of 100,143 cases and 873 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • Dr. Luis Fuenmayor died on Monday, November 23rd, after battling coronavirus for a month in Zulia. He was 28 years old and was a first-year resident of Pediatric Surgery at Maracaibo’s University Hospital.
  • There have been 58.4 million cases of coronavirus and 1,385,000 deaths in the world. The pace of the spread is the same. That’s why the expectation for vaccines is so high. The last clinical trials have shown positive results; there have been 24.8 million cases in America, more than 17 million cases in Europe and 10.4 million cases in the south of Asia. The countries most affected have been the U.S., India, Brazil, Italy and Russia. 
  • We need to say that there are almost 6 million Venezuelan migrants in the world. All the reasons that drove Venezuelans away have gotten worse. The indifference of those in power emphasizes our stateless, pariah condition.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.