The eight Trinidad and Tobago nationals who have been incarcerated in Venezuela will not be allowed bail. This according to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Dookeran who spoke in the Parliament this afternoon. The minister said despite ongoing efforts to ensure the eight remaining T&T citizens are allowed legal access, the Venezuelan authorities have indicated that the defendants will be held without recourse for bail.
The minister said an appeal to this ruling has been lodged and the appeal is expected to be heard within ten to 15 days.
The minister said that having learnt that the incarcerated Trinbagonian nationals traveled to Venezuela in a bid to obtain visas to travel to Saudi Arabia, it must be noted that previously, were made with the Government of Saudi Arabia to have Immigration Officers from Saudi Arabia travel to Trinidad and Tobago to process applications for Hajj visas. He said it is anticipated that for Hajj 2014, the Government of Saudi Arabia will again send Immigration Officers to T&T to process visa applications, adding that as soon as the dates are confirmed, the public will be informed.
Minister Dookeran also said that the government is also in the process of appointing honorary consuls both in Trinidad and Tobago and in Saudi Arabia.