Director of the Institute of International Relations at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Professor Dr Jessica Byron-Reid, is calling for a holistic humanitarian approach to be taken towards the influx of Venezuelan nationals to Trinidad and Tobago.

She made the comments while speaking with Andy Johnson on Power 102fm recently on the topic of the Venezuelan crisis.

Dr Byron-Reid noted that Venezuela has always extended open arms to its Caribbean neighbours via hurricane and natural disaster recovery efforts and through economic agreements.

She suggested that this generosity should now be returned given the situation facing the country

During their discourse, the reaction by Trinbagonians to the arrival of Venezuelans was also discussed with valid points put forward as to why the general public should embrace their Venezuelan counterparts.

Dr Byron-Reid highlighted that 3.7 million Venezuelans have already left their country because their basic humanitarian needs cannot be met.

As such, she noted that those who arrive will do so hoping to have those needs met here.

She pointed out that the Government must therefore take a holistic approach to embracing Venezuelans in this country, as provisional work permits may not be enough by itself.


In news reports on Thursday, authorities raided a camp in a forested area in Palo Seco two days ago and found 91 Venezuelan nationals hiding out there. After being processed by officers at the Siparia police station, they were released, but many of them had no ready place to go.

And in another development,22 others who had previously  been found in the country illegally, were each fined $3,000 by a San Fernando magistrate yesterday. They were given three months in which to pay the fine, and advised to apply for legitimate extensions that will allow them to remain in the country legally.