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MSJ wants talks between T&T, Venezuela

Published: 
Sunday, May 13, 2018

Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah is calling on the Government to meet with the Venezuela government to discuss the issues of immigration, national security and the gun and drug trade.

He made the comment during a seminar hosted by the Joint Trade Union Movement at the Banking Insurance General Workers Union (BIGWU) headquarters in Barataria, yesterday.

Showing his open support to Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro ahead of that’s country’s May 20 presidential election, Abdulah advised against any outside intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Abdulah said, “We are calling on the Government of T&T to have a high-level meeting with the government of Venezuela to discuss the issue of immigration, whether legal or illegal into T&T, to address the issues of mutual security, national security; there is a problem of guns and drugs being traded.

“But that problem of migrant workers is not the same as the issue of political refugees or people seeking political asylum. We have to declare what we have is a problem of migrant labour into T&T, which has to be addressed by the Government of T&T having a clear policy dealing with migrant workers.”

He added: “Trade unions must also have a policy to address the defence of migrant workers who are being terribly exploited in this country.”

He said the question to ask humanitarian and faith-based organisations such as Living Waters, who were crying tears about the conditions of Venezuelans, was whether or not they facilitated migrant workers coming into T&T and sending them to employers who exploit them mercilessly.

Abdulah said the business community must declare there must be no exploitation of migrant workers.

Also speaking at the event, international head of the Joint Bolivarian Workers’ Union of Venezuela, Jacobo Torres De Leon, thanked T&T’s labour movement and the MSJ for their solidarity and treatment of Venezuelans. He also thanked the T&T Government for facilitating the repatriation of 82 Venezuelans recently.

De Leon said they were not expelled from Trinidad but were returned to their country and they should not have left in the first place. He said on behalf of his union and colleagues, he will fight against illegal migration.

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