Chastanet says “we have seen a huge influx of drugs and arms associated with Venezuela”

By SNO Staff

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(CMC) — The St Lucia government on Monday said it remains ‘extremely concerned’ about the ongoing political and economic situation in Venezuela after Trinidad and Tobago reported that a number of Venezuelans were entering the oil-rich twin island republic illegally and seeking asylum.

“Trinidad, Colombia, the rest of Latin America, have for the past couple of years been feeling the impact. Thousands of people, if not millions of people are migrating from Venezuela and as the situation continues to worsen, this becomes even a greater threat to the region and I am very concerned as to the impact here in St Lucia,” Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told reporters.

The Acting Chief Immigration Officer in Trinidad and Tobago, Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews, last week told a select Joint Committee of Parliament that an estimated 2,000 Venezuelans have applied for asylum there in recent months.

The committee was told that in 2015, there were 29 male Venezuelan detainees, but one year later the figure had risen to 125 including 97 females. Last year, there were 45 men and 82 women. She said that on a weekly basis, between 150 to 200 Venezuelans come here by sea, some of them, illegally.

Chastanet told reporters that ever since his ruling United Workers Party (UWP) came into office over a year ago, security has remained the major priority for the island particularly as it relates to the ongoing situation in Venezuela.

“We are only six hours away by a fast boat from Venezuela, so we’re very vulnerable,” he said, expressing concern also at the “deteriorating” economic and political situation in the South American country.

He said that criminals appear to be doing what they want and people were using Venezuela as a transhipment point for drugs from Colombia into Venezuela and the Caribbean.

“We have seen a huge influx of drugs and arms associated with Venezuela,” Chastanet said, adding that the security situation in the hemisphere could be affected if the situation in Venezuela continues ‘unabated.’

Chastanet, who has long been a critic of the situation in Caracas, said that human rights were also being affected and that some were living in denial and pretending it is propaganda to suggest that there is a problem in Venezuela.

“People would not just be leaving that country if in fact it was just propaganda. There is a problem, and we are hoping that the government in Venezuela would recognise that there is a problem and part of that problem is when you go against your own rule of law and your own constitution,” Chastanet said.

He insisted that Castries was aware of the long standing friendship with Caracas, adding “their goodwill to us is not what is in question.

“What is in question is what they are currently doing. The impact it is having on their country and the security risk that they are creating for the rest of us,” he added.

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16 comments

  1. thank God some leaders don't need to wait for others to tell them what is obvious to those with their eyes open and their head not in the sand. only an idiot slp would think that there are no problems in Venezuela. go visit for a few days and report back. if you get back

    (0)(6)
  2. i haven t seen any of that, i dont associate with that do u?

    (1)(0)
  3. What's about a huge influx in money laundering activities in st Lucia you willing western stooge

    (0)(1)
  4. Publish the IMPACS Report.

    (1)(1)
  5. This man doesn't know his [email protected] from his face! He should just SHUT His ARSE!

    (1)(1)
  6. Agree. So he like to open his mouth fast. Remembe4 the deporte debacle and the US State Department had to check him. Never learn and he never will.

    (1)(0)
  7. Chastenet doesn't know his A## from his [email protected]@! He doesn't have a clue as to what is going in Venezuela so he is just shooting SHATE!

    (1)(1)
  8. I agree, Why he does not say anything about Cuba? oh no.... because Cuba send lot of saint Lucians to Cuba to get an education and them come to St Lucia to charge you lots of money on every doctor's office that study in Cuba. Cuban people are leaving Cuba just like Venezuelan. So.... why only attack Venezuela?

    (3)(2)
  9. disappointed with those remarks. venezuela should be aided. tell me how much loan forgiveness has venezuela given to the caribbean? a lot? has the americans and the others given us any? the answer is no. shut it if u have nothing good to say.

    (3)(2)
  10. Falling in with the US agenda maybe in hope of the leahy law being lifted on us perhaps. A foolish endeavour though

    (1)(1)
  11. Chastenet don't be a tool of american propaganda. If you want to know want is going on in Venezuela then suggest that Caricom send a delegation to the country and then get a report from them. Until you have a unbiased assessment of the situation you should be careful with your statements.

    (28)(6)
  12. New Testament Verse of the Day:
    When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)
    –Acts 11:26

    (0)(1)
  13. The PM is fully right. Venezuela is in a mess. I live now 3 years in Panama. We have 35,000 legal and 35,000 illegal immigrants from Venezuela. Since one year they need a visa.Many of these illegal people are involved in crimes, working as street vendors, prostitutes or in the black market as workers earning less than the legal minimum wage of US$ 750 p.m.

    (1)(3)
  14. Who does give the PM security/intelligence brief ????
    Juke Bois ??? 😂 Sighhhh

    (5)(1)
  15. Well said PM. This is no joke. The situation in Venezuela is the one thing that can actually change St Lucia beyond anything that ever has if Venezuelan Nationals see this country as the answer to their prayers. We must remember that even if we mean well that we are simply too small to have loose immigration policy and as a matter of fact it means that we must be more guarded than ever. Already our liberal exchange control laws allow for the free trade of hard currency so that is a big attraction to the Venezuelans who are coping with black market US trade. Imagine if there was an influx of Venezuelans here which I think there already is.

    (0)(4)
  16. Yes stop supporting USA interference in that country and problems solved. Stop the moral panicking about the symptoms and deal with the causes you idiot.

    (1)(0)

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