Gov’t open to relocating Guyanese from Venezuela

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As a result of political and economic unrest in neighbouring Venezuela, the Guyana Government says it is open to offering assistance to Guyanese who are living there

Responding to questions surrounding welfare of Guyanese living in Puerto Ordaz – an eastern town in Venezuela – during a Post Cabinet Press Conference on Friday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said the Government has various estimates as to the number of Guyanese living there ranging from 25,000 to 12,000, but it is in touch with the Honorary Consul in Puerto Ordaz.

“In the event that life, limb and property of Guyanese citizens who are there and who are there require the assistance of the Government to relocate to Guyana, we are prepared to provide that service,” the State Minister said.

However, Harmon said it has found that persons who are so affected would cross the border and return to the areas in Region One, without Government’s intervention. He said there is also enough capacity at the port to deal with an influx of persons in Region One.

“In the event that something over spills in Puerto Ordaz, what I can say to you is that we have made arrangements at our side of the border to receive those residents and even Venezuelans who might be fleeing from violence in those communities. We have an international obligation to provide certain limited facilities for them,” Minister Harmon said.

On January 09, 2017, the second day of lootings and scattered street protests were reported in Ciudad Guayana in southeastern Venezuela as the city was plagued with food shortages and a malaria outbreak.

Reuters reported that at least five food stores were looted overnight, with police sources saying some 20 people had been arrested. Angry Venezuelans also blocked three major roads to demand anti-malaria medicine, food, cooking gas and spare parts for trucks.

It added that there has been increasing unrest around the South American OPEC member in the last few weeks as a fourth straight year of painful recession and the world’s highest inflation leaves millions unable to eat enough.

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