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A sad mother cuddles her baby as she sits under a shed at Iros beach in Erin after a group of Venezuelans arrived at Los Iros beach, Erin, yesterday. 11/24/20

The Venezuelan Council for International Relations (Covri), has asked the authorities in that country to take action against the T&T Government over the recent deportation of 16 migrant children

The group said in a statement: “These 16 children along with nine Venezuelan migrant women were thrown into the sea in a small roofless boat, with little food and gasoline, despite stormy conditions. They arrived many hours later in the La Barra tributary of the Orinoco Delta showing symptoms of dehydration.”

Covri strongly condemned the action, claiming the deportation occurred shortly before authorities here had an opportunity to evaluate the cases and the conditions of the youngmigrants, who left the country who were fleeing a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela

They are demanding “the protection of the 16 Venezuelan children and the prompt reunification with their families.”

The statement continued: “We also urge you to avoid new detentions and/or forced and reckless deportations of Venezuelan children.”

Noting a recent report by the UNHCR which states that at least 55 Venezuelan children have been deported from T&T this year, Covri called on Venezuelan authorities to strongly condemn “such an abominable act, demand an investigation and denounce the forced and reckless deportations of Venezuelan children from Trinidad and Tobago before international bodies such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Caribbean Community (Caricom), UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.”

The group added: “We recognise the impact of the Venezuelan migratory crisis in a developing country like Trinidad and Tobago. There are around 40,000 Venezuelans in the twin islands, of which 2,514 are recognized as refugees and 24,169 have pending refugee applications, according to UNHCR.

The statement came one day after a Venezuelan government offiicial accused that country’s opposition of encouraging the influx of migrants into T&T.

Diosdado Cabello, speaking during his Con del Mazo Dando television programme on Venezuela’s VTV channel,said the migrant problem”is the consequence of a campaign promoted by the opposition” encouraging citizens to leave the country.

“How immoral, very miserable. All this caused by them, a great campaign, that Venezuelans leave their country,” he said.