THE SINKING of a boat carrying 34 spirits aboard in the Gulf of Paria has distressing echoes of their adventures of ship people throughout history, while Vietnamese fleeing the Vietnam War, Haitians clinging to rafts to hit the US, Syrians risking drowning into property in Europe, or even Rohingya taking to the water to escape genocide in Myanmar. For this list we must include Venezuelans drowning in a 3,000 square-mile expanse of water which was formerly, all too fittingly, called Golfo Triste — Gulf of Sadness.
This unfolding tragedy underlines the humanitarian catastrophe at our doorstep, providing a startling step of the degree of desperation engulfing our nearest neighbor. There can be finer concerns of legal culpability, however at first glance the conditions reveal a willingness on the part of a massive group of individuals to have a massive risk. Venezuela is but 12 kilometers off, but the travel through the Dragon’s Mouth could be harmful. We provide our deepest sympathies to the families of people who have expired.
The coast guard and law enforcement agencies need to do everything within their power regarding research attempts. Equally, the situation have to be thoroughly analyzed in order to find a very clear understanding of how this catastrophe unfolded and also to evaluate what measures could be taken to minimise the probability of recurrence.
It’s for Venezuela to control the sea-worthiness of vessels in its own jurisdiction, and to ensure they are being properly manned. At precisely the exact same time, surveillance and interception from TT bureaus will also be critical. Sadly, this won’t be the last time something like this occurs.
The State’s decision to start a window of enrollment to control the procedure by which Venezuelans input the nation remains a laudable intervention. It encourages individuals to take action to get there through appropriate channels, so discouraging individuals from adopting risky plans. There’s a spike, whether controlled or not, of Venezuelans seeking a better life. Whether the State should expand the remit of its coverage to think about a specially-devised infrastructure made to supply humanitarian assistance regarding boats arriving here needs to be considered.
Widening the enrollment window outside June 14 may also help stop a last-minute hurry, allowing a more rapid, more controlled procedure in which anxiety is dissuaded. It’s also worth considering that international humanitarian agencies can be encouraged to help the procedure. Many such agencies have extensive expertise in managing migration flows within a marine atmosphere.
The condition of the Immigration Detention Centre should be suitably reviewed and ventilated. Though a report with a Parliament committee recently threw a spotlight on meals served , we concur with former Independent senator Dhanayshar Mahabir’s evaluation that there are far more pressing things which will need to be dealt with.
Since the ship tragedy shows, those things are issues of life and death.