Deportations upset United Nations …”ANOTHER BOO FROM DILLON”

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Well, Edmund Dillon did another boo boo again!

Following his settlement of a fraud matter in the New York Circuit Court and his comments that three Cedros fishermen did not want to return from Venezuela, Dillon, acting as Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs deported 82 Venezuelans on Saturday, some of whom have applied for refugee status in this country.

Now Attorney General Faris Al Rawi has promised an investigation. Investigation into what? Dillon says repatriation but it was really deportation. Dillon says the Venezuelans were willing to go home. Really Dillon? The same people who applied for refugee status because they feel they will be killed in Venezuela.

Now the United Nations (UN) is upset at the deportation in the dead of the night on Saturday.

The UN has raised deep concerns over the deportation, among them asylum seekers, saying they could not verify whether it was a voluntary repatriation process as claimed by the Ministry of National Security.

The UN feels like many locals and Venezuelan nationals here, that this Government has failed the deportees and disrespected their human rights people seeking asylum and refugee status from the Venezuela Government.

In a news release on Sunday, UN Resident Coordinator, Richard Blewitt, said the UN was concerned for the welfare of these people.

He added, “We are in contact with the appropriate authorities in Port-of-Spain to ensure that any person in need of protection will get it without fail.”

On Saturday, a Venezuelan military aircraft took 82 Venezuelan nationals, 53 men and 29 women,  back to Venezuela. About 40 of those 82 Venezuelans were said to have applied for asylum and refugee status in Trinidad and Tobago, but the certificates they had in their possession were disregarded by local Immigration officers.

In a news release on Saturday, the Ministry of National Security said the Venezuelan nationals, who were being kept at the Immigration Detention Centre, were voluntarily repatriated with the assistance of the Ambassador of Venezuela to T&T, Coromoto Godoy.

But Blewitt said this statement could not be verified independently by UN observers. He said the UN and its local partners have encouraged the prompt adoption of national legislation on refugee issues, and work together to support the TT Government in its efforts to develop an efficient and secure asylum system.

Al-Rawi said he will be requesting a full report on the deportation of 82 Venezuela nationals on Saturday.

Dillon has so far had a rocky 2018 with calls for his resignation. He lost a civil civil case in the New York Circuit Court where he settled a matter with his friend, Neville Piper, 88, a Trinidadian.

Then when three Cedros fishermen were detained by the La Guardia Nacionale on April 5, and efforts were being made to bring them home, Dillon upset relatives when he said they were not really interested in coming back. And to make matters worse, he turned up at Cedros on Saturday to welcome home the same three fishermen.

And just last week, he lost a civil case in the High Court to Carlton Dennie, a director of the SSA who was fired.

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EDMUND DILLON

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RICHARD BLEWITT

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