Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, already facing strong Opposition in Caracas, was greeted by protest action outside the official residence of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley in St Ann’s on Monday.
The protest came from Venezuelans living in Trinidad. The protest was bigger today than when Maduro first visited Port-of-Spain in 2015 at the invitation of then Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Maduro arrived in Trinidad on Sunday night after a whirlwind visit to Jamaica where he met with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his Government.
Maduro is in Trinidad to speak to the Government on various matters including the possibility of buying electricity. But his visit is most likely to be overshadowed by the protest action by Venezuelans who are calling on him to resign and call fresh elections in Venezuela.
Since Maduro called a State of Emergency in Caracas four months ago, nationals of Venezuelans have been resisting all measures presented by the Maduro administration. Venezuelans have been flocking to Trinidad in their thousands to buy goods to take part to their country.
The government stated that 14,000 Venezuelans visited Trinidad so far for 2016, but only 43 have stayed behind illegally. But many nationals of T&T believe that figure is not true.
According to one resident of Cascade on Monday morning, “just walk along Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook and tell me if all those Venezuelans selling gyro are here legally. I will bet you that all of them are here illegal. What is the Immigration Department doing? ” he asked.
It is clear that Venezuelans have arrived in this country and many of them have decided to remain because of problems in their country. Many arrive legally while other come through our porous borders.
Maduro’s first appointment was with President Anthony Carmona at President’s House. He was then taken to the Diplomatic Centre for talks with the T&T Government.