Gregory Antoine, Morvant: Our country is very poor in emergency responses, so we can’t really be for or against any government in Venezuela. We have to remain neutral.
Stacy Joseph, Cocorite: We already have an influx of Venezuelans, things are already hard here in Trinidad.
Harry Ramoutar, San Juan: Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro must go. The Venezuelan people are experiencing a famine. When Maduro came here and met the Prime Minister and signed an agreement for US$50 million for food and goods, up to now we don’t know if they got it or not.
The Venezuelan Opposition and people are fed up and they are marching and protesting.
Maduro wants to form an alliance with Russia, China, Cuba, Mexico, and other countries to make it a war. But the US has more say than Venezuela in T&T.
Michael Darmanie, Beetham: We should help the Venezuelans, it’s the humanitarian thing to do. One never knows when such things would happen perhaps to us here and we would need some sort of cover so that we could migrate and feel comfortable just as we are here.
Yvonne Job, Cocorite: Everyone should come together for a solution as to what do to. After all, they’re our closest neighbours. I like the Venezuelans, they should try and help them. We should assist them until they get back on their own feet as we’re going through our own problems.
Kenrick Alleyne, San Fernando: The Venezuelan issues are complicated. Since the Europeans came and took over the place, it’s still in a confused state. Chavez tried his best, he did what he could do in his lifetime. Maduro, however, is a labour leader, he’s not an astute politician. After Chavez’ death, the world has changed and continues to change, he should have put strategic measures in place to change the system to have the billions in gold reserve Venezuela has in foreign banks returned to the country.
Matthew Lee, San Fernando: Most of the people in Woodford Square are siding with Maduro, he’s the elected president. We’re supposed to help them, they’re our neighbours. I like the stand the Prime Minister took, he’s neutral and didn’t take any sides.
Abdul Ghafur, Chaguanas: If the Venezuelans were coming before the situation escalated, it is obvious they will be coming in greater numbers as the crisis worsens. We should help them because if the situation was reversed, we would like the same thing done to us.
Yvette Munroe, Champs Fleurs: Venezuelans deserve favour just as how we migrate to other countries and want to settle and work honestly. However, some of them have the wrong motives and will do anything to get by. Once they want to come and earn an honest living, that’s fine with me.
Sadhu Marajh, Curepe: Here we already have problems like housing, the amount of them at nights they knocking at your door, Spanish or Colombian. So Trinidadians will not be able to assist too much, though we’re always glad to help, we can’t even help ourselves. It’s like a man sinking...
Anthony Mann, Maracas St Joseph: We should help the Venezuelans, everybody has to live. If over there is tough, they have to go where it is a little easier.
Bert Sobers, Arima: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is doing the right thing, just like when Ronald Reagan was president of the US. He’s helping the people definitely. He’s not talking much but doing what he has to do.
Gregory Wyatt, 64, Princes Town: I have no problem with Venezuelans coming in. They are suffering so why shouldn't we help them? We need to do more to help them.
Shawntel Hunte, 23, La Brea, student: Yes, I am concerned especially when it comes to health care. I don't mind they are coming here but our government needs to put better systems in place to make sure that we are safe and we don't get any virus or diseases that they may bring in.
Whitney Francois: The only concern I have is about employment. People are thinking about employing the Venezuelans but what will happen to the Trinidadians who need work too?
Marilyn Joseph, 45, of Gasparillo, Cepep worker: I have a lot of concerns. Too many of them are coming here. They are taking over our country. They getting the employment. Soon nobody (from Trinidad) will get work.
Stephon Ramsaran, 23, Barrackpore, student: No, I have no problems with the Venezuelans coming here. They don't harass me. We should be able to help them.
Wilson Manohar, 64, Penal, labourer: No, I have no problems with the Venezuelans. They are nice people. I does travel with them in the taxi and they does talk nice. I hearing that it's Venezuelans who kidnap my family but I don't know if that is true.
Nadine Raymond: The influx of Venezuelans can be an economic and social strain on T&T if not properly managed.
Rajkumar Bhagaloo: There will be competition for jobs, ladies will take away the men from their wives and broken home will be on the rise. T&T cannot accommodate more people presently.
Paul Maharaj: There will be a negative effect. The share of the pie will be smaller. More money will have to be spent on our health institutions and schools. Trinidadians who fail to perform their jobs especially in the supermarkets will be replaced by Venezuelans as is already taking place and also in the construction industry.
Nirmala Persad: Yes, things should be put in place as the place will become harder. Family life will be destroyed as the women will be vulnerable and will go after married men and men in general. This means more money being spent on social security. Crime will be on the rise. There will be a call for more houses, hospitals, and schools.
Vindra Maharaj: There will be hard times for the people of T&T as the business community will employ the Venezuelans to work. Trinidadians will have to pull up their socks and perform their duties in the construction sector. There will be an increase in crime. Something should be done to control the influx as it spells disaster for us.
Nadine Nanan: Yes, there will be problems as there will be more pirates on the sea who will take advantage of T&T citizens, more illegal items will come into the country. Women looking for security will grab on to our men. Family homes will be destroyed. There will be economic pressure and fight for space. There will be scab labour. More people being added to our population means more money to build schools, hospitals, houses etc.
Christina Chanoo: Yes, Trinidad can barely support itself and more people coming into the country could bring some burden on the economy. We will want to help but must think about our children and family first as this can lead to harsh economic times and added trouble.
Joshua Rhodes: Whatever happens in Venezuela within the next few days is definitely going to
affect us, so I am concerned. As it relates to the influx of refugees, I'm not worried because when they come here, they do the jobs we are too proud to do because we don’t know to suffer as they do.
Reynold Edwards: Because of our relationship with Venezuela it's going to definitely affect us.
The Government needs to do more to stop all the Venezuelans from coming into the country, so we hope that the situation there could be stabilised.
Melanie Roberts: I'm definitely concerned about the Venezuelan crisis. Should the worst happen, a lot of people would be searching for refuge even more than we have now. And while I sympathise with them, we have to ask if we have the necessary systems in place as it relates to jobs, social and health care services to deal with an influx of people.
Ella-mae McKenna Mathews: I am very worried. We already have some Venezuelans here and we are hearing about them taking up jobs because they are willing to work for less money. We are hearing about prostitution, that is definitely not good. If we have too many of them it would create more problems than we already have.
Claude Anthony: The Venezuelans need help, we have agreements with them to trade oil and because we are all God’s children we should help them. We are too close to not help if we can.
Tommy Roberts: I'm definitely concerned war on our borders is a serious thing. We are too close to
Venezuela to not be concerned about not feeling the effects of any kind of military action.
Agnes Gibson: I don’t think we should be involved in any way. We have so many social problems here—unemployment, drugs, crime, we could barely manage our own affairs. We have neighbours living right next to us that need help, fix those neighbours first before we fix neighbours across the sea.
Compiled by Radhica De Silve, Charles Kong Soo, Loyce Vincent, Ralph Banwarie and Kristian De Silva.