Thu | Dec 13, 2018

Professor warns of possible mass migration of Venezuelans to Ja

Published:Tuesday | August 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro.

Sustainable Development Professor Anthony Clayton believes that Jamaicans must concern themselves with the political and economic turmoil devastating Venezuela, warning of possible mass migration into the island.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Clayton highlighted that Venezuela's severing of ties with democracy must be taken seriously.

"Jamaicans should be extremely concerned. First of all, there are large numbers of Venezuelan refugees that have gone into Trinidad. Some will undoubtedly seek to move on from Trinidad. Many will try to get to the United States," Clayton told The Gleaner recently.

"There is going to be a flow of Venezuelan refugees coming into the Caribbean. This is going to affect us. Furthermore, if a country on our doorsteps is no longer a democracy and their economy is collapsing, isn't it incumbent on us to speak out?"

Clayton said that because of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's lack of economic knowledge, roughly four million people have fled Venezuela, and many more are expected to follow.

Continued Clayton: "The exodus from Venezuela is now the biggest migration crisis in the world today. "

Andrew Wynter, the chief executive officer of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, told The Gleaner yesterday that the island has not yet seen an influx of Venezuelans, like other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states have. However, he indicated that it is possible in near future.

"We have not seen a lot of Venezuelans. The countries in CARICOM mostly bearing the brunt are Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Guyana and Suriname," he said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com