As Venezuelans continue to flock to Trinidad to escape the turmoil in their homeland, Cedros councillor Shankar Teelucksingh is calling on the United States Ambassador and the United Nations to set up a base in Cedros to offer humanitarian aid.
His comments came days after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rejected the humanitarian aid supplied by the United States, saying Venezuelans were not beggars and did not require aid.
During an interview, Teelucksingh said despite Maduro’s claims, Venezuelans were starving and many of them were coming to Trinidad to get supplies for their families.
He said every week more than 700 Venezuelans come to Trinidad.
“Hundreds more are coming illegally through Erin, Morne Diablo, Quinam, Icacos and Moruga. Many of the Venezuelans are in need of medical aid, “Teelucksingh said.
“With Maduro rejecting humanitarian aid from the US, the situation is worse than ever before. We need the US and the UN to come to Cedros and set up a humanitarian aid shelter for the people,” Teelucksingh added.
He called on the US Ambassador Joseph Mondello to liaise with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to set up the humanitarian base.
“I am calling them to come to Cedros and set up a tent for Red Cross and other international agencies to support the Venezuelans because they need assistance. They need rations, medicine and other supplies,” Teelucksingh added.
He said since last year before the Venezuelan crisis worsened, he made the call but Minister of National Security Stuart Young never responded.
Teelucksingh also said there was a need to set up a medical facility for the Venezuelans who come here sick.
“The Minister of Health said there is a high number of malaria cases entering T&T. We are asking the Minister of Health to set up monitors at the base and have the Cedros Health Centre operating 24/7. We also need an ambulance service 24/7 as well as a resident doctor and nurses,” he added.
On January 23, Venezuela’s political crisis deepened when opposition figure Juan Guaido, who leads the defunct National Assembly, proclaimed himself the “interim president” of the country.
US President Donald Trump officially recognised him as president and announced sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry.
Other major Western nations such as the UK, France, Spain and Germany also recognised Guaido as “interim president” while Russia, China, Iran and Turkey threw their support behind Maduro.
Last Thursday, Maduro said the US was using Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis as a cover-up for its military plans in the country, adding that the crisis was a fabrication of the US.