New Venezuela Support Group established for refugees fleeing to Guyana

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Thousands of Venezuelans cross into Colombia daily, escaping an economic crisis at home (BBC/EPA photo)

A new group, the Venezuela Support Group (VSG), has been established in Guyana to provide advice and assistance to Venezuelans seeking refuge from the deprivations and insecurity currently gripping their homeland.

Some 25 Venezuelans were recently discovered camping in the open air under very poor conditions in Lethem, Region Nine, and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge has given full assurance that Guyana would continue to assist the people of Venezuela, who continue to flee their country to escape its economic, social and political crises.

A release from the Human Rights Association on Saturday stated that the VSG, consisting of eight civic and faith-based organizations, was assembled to establish possible partnerships with the Ministry of Citizenship in regard to the above situation.

The founding members of the VSG include the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), Guyana Institute for Transparency Inc (GITI), Moray House Trust, Policy Forum Guyana, Red Thread, Roman Catholic Diocese of Guyana, and the Ursuline Sisters in Guyana.

“Member organizations of the VSG have previously publicly expressed their concerns about the humanitarian aspect of the on-going crisis in Venezuela in press releases, panel discussions and in communication with various Ministries,” the release said.

The VSG said it was designed to address concerns, some of which include distinguishing humanitarian obligations to the Venezuelan people from political factors that currently influence both the internal crisis in Venezuela and Caricom Secretariat’s reluctance to date to formulate specific advice to member States on how to respond to that crisis; and to devise a flexible, evidence-based rather than speculative response appropriate to the relatively small numbers of Venezuelans currently in Guyana.

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