How it all started…Venezuela vs T&T vs the BBC

How it all started…Venezuela vs T&T vs the BBC

May 2018

Minister of National Security, Stuart Young revealed the that there are 40,000 Venezuelans living in Trinidad and Tobago, according to UN records. Minister Stuart Young, made the revelation during the weekly post cabinet news briefing held at the Diplomatic Center, St Ann’s.

Minister Young’s announcement comes on the heels of the repatriation of 82 Venezuelans from this country last month. Government has insisted that it handled the matter fairly and those repatriated were not forced to do.

Minister Young also confirmed that the Prime Minister held talks with the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday.

This follows the Prime Minister’s objections to statements made by UN representatives here, over the repatriation exercise.

Fast Forward to June 6th 2019

Minister Young said he is satisfied with the Venezuelan migrant registration process thus far.

He made the comments as he toured the Port of Spain Registration Centre located at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.

Minister of National Security, Stuart Young

During the tour the Minister spoke with some of the registrants, urging them to encourage their compatriots to follow suit. He explained that the Government is doing all it can to assist them from a humanitarian perspective.

The U.N’s perspective 

Move on to June 21st 2019

Social media influencer, Kia ‘Rankin Kia Boss’ Hosein said the media got it wrong when they labeled her protest anti-migrant.

Kia ‘Rankin Kia Boss’ Hosein

Speaking outside the Parliament building, she explained that she had no issue with Venezuelans who were already here and registered, but took issue with the porous borders T&T still suffers from.

Kia said the protest was triggered by the way in which the immigration situation was handled by the Government; which she said showed a lack of concern for T&T citizens.

Jump to September 16th 2019

The BBC released a documentary titled – ‘The Displaced: When 40,000 desperate Venezuelans hit a tiny island’

According to the BBC four million people fled Venezuela, as the country continues to face economic and political crisis. 40,000 have gone to the small Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, just seven miles off the coast.

But life isn’t easy for those who arrive, and some locals have made it clear they’re not welcome.

The BBC’s Ashley John-Baptiste went to find out more.

In 2018 – more than 35,000 people were forced to flee their homes every day – that’s one every two seconds.

The aftermath – T&T’s Government fires shots at The BBC – September 17th 2019

Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, took issue with a BBC documentary which said that Trinidad and Tobago was not adhering to international humanitarian laws.

The documentary also claimed that this country refused to be interviewed by the BBC.

 

Dr. Rowley also claimed that there was misrepresentation in the BBC report in terms of how this country is handling the situation.

 

The fight gets interesting – September 17th 2019

British High Commissioner to Trinidad & Tobago, Tim Stew responded to the Prime Minister and said the British Government is committed to the media’s freedom of expression.

“THE GOVERNMENT HAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION A BBC DOCUMENTARY ON VENEZUELAN MIGRANTS. AS I HAVE SAID, THE UK’S COMMITMENT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION MEANS THAT THE UK MEDIA, INCLUDING THE BBC ARE INDEPENDENT OF THE UK GOVERNMENT.”

 

The Rebuttal – September 17th 2019

Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley fired back at the British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, for his comments regarding the U.K’s respect for ‘Freedom of the Press’.

BBC drops another bomb and responds to the Prime Minister – September 17th 2019

Head of Communications at BBC, Paul Rasmussen responded to an email by T&T reporter, Peter Christopher and said the BBC stands by its journalism.

 

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