Guyana willing to help Venezuelans fleeing crisis

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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GEORTOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge says Guyana is willing to assist Venezuelans who are fleeing the crisis in the neighbouring country.

Greenidge who made the statement in a Facebook live interview on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Friday, however said Guyana is not receiving “an influx of any significant quantity”.

“In truth, the largest movement is not to Guyana, it is to probably Columbia, Brazil and to a lesser extent Trinidad and Tobago, and in certain border areas between Guyana and Venezuela”, Greenidge noted.

Guyana's western neighbour, Venezuela, is currently facing an economic and political crisis that has left many of its people fleeing violence and food shortages.

Greenidge said Guyana will assist once Venezuelans enter the country by legal means. He added that Guyana does not have any legislation that addresses refugees “and therefore there are some restrictions.

“We have no problem with the Venezuelan people…there is a good rapport between the people. It's governments that have created these problems.”

He pointed out Guyana's willingness to “encourage and facilitate as far as is possible” aiding those fleeing the Venezuelan crisis.

Guyana and Venezuela are mired in a border controversy.

It is hoped that this will be resolved by the end of this year, through the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres.

Concerning the border controversy, Geenidge pointed out that the matter was raised during bilateral and other meetings.

“All of the region has called upon the parties to settle this issue peacefully. So that is a regional position”, he explained.

 

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