Senior Multimedia Reporter
Decades ago, Venezuelan-born Beatriz Ramoutarsingh built her life in T&T with her late husband, business magnate Jack Ramoutarsingh.
Yet today, she remains heartbroken for her brothers who are still residing in Venezuela. As Venezuelans headed for the polls yesterday on the referendum to claim Essiquebo, Ramoutarsingh said she was praying for peace in her homeland.
Speaking to Guardian Media exclusively on Saturday night, Ramoutarsingh revealed how worried she was about the possibility of further instability in her beloved Venezuela.
“They have no electricity and no water. Every day my family in Venezuela call to complain. It is so sad what happened, and I hope something happens for the betterment of all,” she said.
Asked about her fears about a possible war between Venezuela and Guyana, Ramoutarsingh said: “I don’t know what will happen. With President Maduro, you cannot foresee a future. You just have to wait and see.”
She urged both parties to pursue diplomatic channels but said the fact that President Nicolás Maduro proceeded with the referendum shows further instability will come.
“Everybody is worried about the outcome of this referendum. We want to find a solution because people are suffering badly. When people think of the amount of refugees coming here, everybody has to get out. “Venezuela is a beautiful country with so many natural resources. This man (Maduro) has given away the wealth of Venezuela,” she said.
Ramoutarsingh said while some of her siblings had migrated to T&T, her brothers and their wives were still in Venezuela. She said all the youth have left Venezuela because of the instability.
“The elderly ones are there and they are staying because they have property in Venezuela. If you leave your property unattended it’s gone, so that is why the older ones stay there,” she said.
Ramoutarsingh said she prays every day for the situation in Venezuela to improve.
Co-ordinator of the La Romain Migrant Support Group Angie Ramnarine also told Guardian Media many migrants residing in T&T have been sending back additional goods for their families in Venezuela because of the recent tensions. She said while most people did not return to Venezuela to vote in the referendum, many were tried to make their families more comfortable by sending back food.