Citizens Embassy denounces Trinidad and Tobago for sending refugees to their deaths

MIAMI (Dec. 13, 2020). The Citizens Embassy of Venezuela condemns the government of Trinidad and Tobago for their cruel immigration policy which resulted in the deaths by drowning of 11 Venezuelan men, women, and children after having been deported from the island nation. Trying to flee from a totalitarian criminal regime isn’t a crime, and putting people in small boats and sending them into the ocean is effectively a death sentence. Our condolences go to the families of the dead who must now carry this additional weight.

The deaths of these 11 Venezuelan refugees in the ocean, and the disappearance of the 16 minors earlier this month after being deported from Trinidad a second time, are not the first incidents of Venezuelan deportees dying in the ocean. These are simply the first cases to generate enough news coverage to cause public outrage. Venezuelan deportees have been dying in the ocean and on land trails since the beginning of the historic mass exodus of people fleeing from life under the chavista regime. While we condemn the government of Trinidad and Tobago for increasing the total body count of Venezuelan refugees, we also condemn the current US policy of detaining and deporting Venezuelan refugees back to Venezuela, though they deny doing this.

According to statistics from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 180 Venezuelans had been deported from the US since the mass migration began in 2017. However, the so-called Ambassador Carlos Vecchio recognized in July 2019 that over 300 Venezuelans had been deported. This information is over a year old and ICE hasn’t yet released new data on the nationality of deportees. What they have published is generalized data on deportation showing that arrests went down 10% in 2019, but total deportations increased by 5% and detention of migrants at the border increased by 68%. This data can only mean the number of Venezuelan refugees deported from the US has continued increasing throughout 2020.

While the Citizens Embassy harshly condemns the cruel and lethal immigration policy of Trinidad and Tobago, we also denounce the so-called ambassador, citizen Carlos Vecchio, for his embassy’s collaboration in the deportation of Venezuelans back to the nightmare of Venezuela under the chavista narco-regime. 

This is how the game works: ICE has so far maintained plausible deniability on deporting people to Venezuela by deporting them to Trinidad and Tobago instead–a mere 99.9% of the 1,640 mile distance back to Venezuela. Then Trinidad and Tobago sends them to the ocean for the last 10 miles back to Venezuela. And from the beginning of this process, Juan Guaidó’s embassy in the US issues emergency travel documents authorizing ICE to put the deportees on an airplane to Trinidad.

The criminals that these refugees were running from in the first place before they died are the same butchers with whom Carlos Vecchio and Juan Guaidó want to sit down and “negotiate.” Everything about that is unacceptable to us at the Citizens Embassy and unacceptable to the majority of the Venezuelan people.

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