10 million Venezuelans expected to flee mainland; Crime expected to increase in T&T/C’bean

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    Photo credit: Sunil Lalla / 103FM

    Over 10 million Venezuelans are expected to flee the country over the next year, which could lead to an increase in crime in neighbouring Caribbean countries, especially T&T.

    A US-Latin American analyst believes whether Caribbean countries are ready or not, there will be an increasing inflow into their countries, if the situation in Venezuela is not resolved soon.

    José Cárdenas, the Director of Vision Americas and a former Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean was speaking at a UWI Forum held at the St Augustine Campus on Wednesday.

    He says there have already been many Venezuelan refugees all over the region who have been absorbed into criminal gangs because they have nowhere else to go.

    And with the expected influx of more, the situation he believes will become worse, even in T&T, which has already reportedly seen refugees involved in criminal activities.

    In addition to this, Mr Cárdenas is also foreseeing a significant increase in drug trafficking in and out of T&T, since Venezuelans have very little opportunity other than a life of crime.

    Mr Cárdenas says he is due to speak with the US Government on these issues facing the region, and the possibility of sharing some sort of aid or relief to refugees who are fleeing to neighbouring countries such as Trinidad.

    But he is concerned that by doing so, it may be fuelling an influx of refugees to the country.