Venezuela, a land reeling from shortages of food, medicine and riddled with crime and poverty once possessed a thriving economy and the highest standard of living in Latin America. However, it now suffers from a political crisis and a crippled economy where hyperinflation causes basic food and household items to be well above the country’s average salary. Consequently, in this crisis-filled nation, Venezuelans are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries for survival and to send remittances to take care of their families.
According to the UNCHR (the UN Refugee Agency) (https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2018/11/5be4192b4/number-refugees-migrants-venezuela-reaches-3-million.html) up to November 2018 the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela reached 3 million. Although many nations opened their borders to allow persons seeking refuge to enter, many of these refugees and migrants have faced severe challenges in these countries where they seek sanctuary. It seems as though there is no rest for the migrants as there are many cases of abuse, human trafficking and coercion into prostitution in countries such as Columbia, Ecuador, Peru (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/venezuela-humanitarian-crisis-refugees-borders-photography-a8579311.html) and is also occurring in Trinidad and Tobago, the closest Caribbean country to Venezuela in South America.
“As soon as they know that you don’t have anything, they try to take advantage of you”
'Trinis are enslaving us' - Venezuelans, Cubans appeal for help’ was the horrid title of a post made by the Trinidad Express Newspaper. It is estimated by the UNCHR that about 40,000 Venezuelans have entered Trinidad since 2015. Here in Trinidad, some have been abused, blackmailed, sexually assaulted, faced xenophobia and victimized. “Because as soon as people know that you are running away, as soon as they know that you don’t have anything, they try to take advantage of you,” was the claim on one Venezuelan in this published post.
In Every Human lies Massive potential to do good
We may not be able to help all Venezuelans but should help in any way such as safe accommodations in Trinidad or any country in which they seek refuge.
Now, think about it, what would you do if such an unfortunate situation happened in Trinidad? Wouldn’t you want another nation to accommodate us and not take advantage of us?
Wouldn’t you want to seek a better life and the means to help your family if your salary was not enough for some rice?
Though these people are in a dire, desperate situation, they are not beneath us...they are our equals...they are human beings with loved ones that they need to take care of. We should have the desire to help them in whatever way possible and they should all be treated with utmost respect and compassion. In no way should we contribute to the troubles that they already face. In every human lies massive potential to do good so let’s do the right thing and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.