In response to a BBC report that went viral yesterday, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said that he stood by the Government’s handling of the Venezuelan migrant situation.
The video entitled The Displaced, is a 15-minute BBC report which highlighted the Government’s failure to handle the influx of over 40,000 Venezuelans who sought asylum on our shores. The report further claimed that the Government rejected thousands of migrants who failed to register during the amnesty period. In June, the Government conducted a two-week registration process allowing Venezuelans who entered the country illegally to register to work legally for one year. National Security Minister Stuart Young confirmed that 16,523 had registered back in June, and questioned then where some Government officials had gotten information that 40,000 Venezuelans had entered the country illegally.
Yesterday, Dr. Rowley confirmed that over 16,000 Venezuelans had registered back in June including 2000 children. He said the registration period was extended a few days to allow others to register, but no one showed up during that period. He said the report that 14,000 Venezuelans were rejected is incorrect. He said that the country did what it could to assist the Venezuelans, adding that our country had been congratulated for our efforts.
Dr Rowley chided the BBC for the content of the report and questioned the agenda of the news agency. He said he has long been a listener of the BBC and would not believe that the report would be as a result of one person’s agenda. However, he said that the Government took objection to the report and would make an official complaint to the British Government.