Over 36,000 Venezuelans now in Guyana – mostly in Region One

— Region One chairman concerned about food, medical supplies.

Brentnol Ashley
Brentnol Ashley
The Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council told Stabroek News yesterday that food for migrant families continues to be in high demand. He observed that during 2019, the Civil Defence Commission was distributing food hampers to families but he has not observed any distribution for this year.       

He called on the agency to restart its distribution of food hampers to families in the area.

Recently, President David Granger announced that over 36,000 Venezuelan migrants have entered Guyana since the situation in Venezuela escalated. He disclosed the figure last Tuesday while accepting the credentials of Australia’s new non-resident High Commissioner to Guyana Bruce Lendon.

Granger said the Direct Aid Programme of Australia, which provided critical assistance in improving water, sanitation and health in indigenous communities, is being used to assist with the situation of Venezuelan migrants.

Meantime, Ashley told this newspaper that families have been taking up residence in close proximity to the wharves at Mabaruma and Kumaka. He said that government is aware of the situation in the region but little has been done to properly accommodate families.

“We have families here with no proper housing and the situation remains the same because we don’t have the resources to assist the families. We have young mothers and their babies with nowhere to go. It is still a big issue for us in the region and government has been dragging their foot on it,” Ashley disclosed.

He added that some families have also erected makeshift camps at open spaces in different communities.

The chairman said that a few non-governmental organisations, such as UNICEF and the International Organisation for Migration, have been assisting and have to date constructed several pit latrines at locations where the families have settled.

The RDC chairman also said that the presence of the families in the region is becoming burdensome to the health system. He noted that several Venezuelans are infected with malaria and have been visiting the health facilities in the region for treatment.

“We don’t have a problem assisting with the medical aid but the limited drugs that we have is not being replaced fast enough by the MMU [Materials Management Unit of the Ministry of Public Health]. If we use up the drugs on the Venezuelans, what are we going to have to treat our people [with] when they are ill? We are not having a steady supply and the medicine is depleting,” Ashley added.

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  • Trevor  On 01/13/2020 at 7:07 pm

    I have first-hand information that this will increase to 100,000 within the next five years if Venezuela keeps getting sanctions and collapsing.

    However, I don’t believe that we should hate them and act like the racist European nationalists.

  • Trevor  On 01/13/2020 at 7:12 pm

    SNobby Devanand Bhagwan • 3 hours ago

    U people are xenophobes. Wonder if Americans and Canadians had sent all those Guyanese back because they were becoming too many and were accessing free health care and other welfare benefits while being illegal? You had no problem with Guyanese breaking US and Canadian immigration laws so that they could have a better life.

    Do unto others bro. Stop being a small minded hypocrite.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 01/13/2020 at 8:37 pm

    There should be a plan to relocate the migrants to other Regions

    Do NOT burden Region One, exclusively.

  • brandli62  On 01/14/2020 at 2:49 am

    It is understandable that Venezuelans are flying their country given the total collapse of its industry and state services. Guyana has to date been very generous in accepting them as refugees in the country. I believe that per capita, it has accepted the most Venezuelan refugees (5% of the total population) than any other country in the world. My concerns stem from the fact that they are currently settling in Region 1, which is part of area that Venezuela is claiming as their own territory. Down the road this may lead to huge problems for the Guyanese government. Venezuela might at some point use the fact of a significant Venezuelan population present west of the Essequibo as a pre-context to further justify their claim to the territory. They might even find reasons to invade in order to protect their citizens. The next Guyanese government has to take this potential problem very seriously. The following is recommenced:

    1. Relocation of Venezuelan refugees from Region 1 to other regions east of the Essequibo.
    2. Measures need to be taken to avoid the formation of Venezuelan neighbourhoods or ghettos.
    3. Mandatory schooling of Venezuelan kids in the English language.
    4. Refugees have to understand that they will relocated to Venezuela once the political situation is resolved. Those that have found legal employment are exempt from relocation.
    5. Guyana needs to pass modern and fair refugee laws.

    • Trevor  On 01/14/2020 at 8:14 am

      Most of the Venezuelans are mothers and children. If they were mostly able-bodied, single and young men then we will have a cause of concern for potential militants.

      I estimate that if the sanctions are not resolved, I might have to count over 150,000 Venezuelans by 2025. This doesn’t even count the birth rates, which is somewhat higher than the world average. One mother has at least 3 or 4 children. By 2030, the 36,000 number would increase to 50,000 alone due to natural birth increases. So imagine 150,000 new migrants forming families and making children. The Venezuelan population would be 200,000+. Exxon knows this is happening…

  • Trevor  On 01/14/2020 at 7:47 pm

    1 HOUR AGO
    Baseman posted:
    Meh here Lots of Guyanese men finding love and marriage with these women.

    Even some married men leff dem wives for these Venezuelan women. Is sheer jhanjhat going on r***. Anyway, I have zero problems with the influx as long as it is sustainable. We having a third race in Guyana now call [Indo-Spanish].

    Someday they might outnumber [mixed race Indo-Guyanese]. Imagine visiting Guyana and being greeted with Buenos Dias Senor at the Airport.

    I can see Nehru going to Guyana for months at a time now.

  • Seneca  On 01/17/2020 at 12:36 pm

    I think it’s irony that the vocal opponents of Haitians 🇭🇹 or ‘Venezuelan migrants’ Venezuela 🇻🇪 have families living here in Canada 🇨🇦

    The Haitians nor Venezuelans have I’ll treated Guyanese.

  • dhanpaul narine  On 01/17/2020 at 12:38 pm

    You are now getting the picture that by 2050 with the Venezuelans, and other nationalities in Guyana, we could become a minority in our own country. We therefore have to pass laws to protect indigenous Guyanese, just as they did in other countries like Qatar, Dubai, etc. to protect their people.

    • Ramesh  On 01/17/2020 at 1:39 pm

      Dr Narine, I doubt whether laws can now protect the inevitable. This alarming situation had been set in motion with the mass outward migration of Guyanese, including yourself. The circumstances pre and post independence have resulted in the now unstoppable demographical changes.

      Too little too late.


  • Trevor  On 01/17/2020 at 5:15 pm

    The Arab race treats non-Arabs as animals.

    But how can one stop the collapse of Venezuela, the Chinese development of Brazil linking to GT, and also the demographic changes with more mixed-race people being born?

    How exactly will Guyanese be a “minority” on a continent of 300 million people, when we are already a minority? We’re a drop in the bucket compared to Brazil which has 200 million people,and Venezuela which has 30 million people.

    My co-workers have already noticed that the population is increasing rather than being stable or decreasing. The Statistics Bureau might estimate that the population of Guyana might actually be 805,000 today rather than the American count of 785,000.

    If the UK could fit 60 million people on the tiny island of Europe, why is a few extra thousand such a problem?

    How do Americans feel that Guyanese are living 5 to 10 inside a one-bedroom apartment in Queens or Bronx?

    • Ken Persaud  On 01/17/2020 at 10:46 pm

      The Arab race? Never heard of such a race, Trevor. You must know some things we don’t.

      • Trevor  On 01/18/2020 at 9:46 pm

        Smh why do they call it “United Arab Emirates” then if Arabs aren’t an ethnic group?

  • Trevor  On 01/17/2020 at 5:21 pm

    There are more “mixed race” Guyanese than before, and the exodus of Venezuelans, Cubans and Brazilians to GT have changed the demographics.

    While the traditional ethnic groups are bickering and fomenting allegations of past misconduct, at least 100 Venezuelans are entering Guyana through the jungle areas.

    Jagdeo has been focusing so much on the Haitians who are not even staying here, but has failed to notice that there are increasing numbers of Venezuelans and Brazilians entering Guyana and not being counted in the demographics. Spanish signs are becoming common in GT along with Mandarin and Chinese writing. GT has defacto languages other than English. Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin are languages becoming common in GT these days.

    The 36,000 number is understated. I estimate that it’s more like 50,000 today. The number will only increase because of the American sanctions and Venezuela crisis.

    Who is to be blamed? I’m not sure, but if Venezuela wasn’t collapsing we wouldn’t have seen a drastic increase of 5,000 to 36,000 in one year.

  • bruce.goldman  On 01/17/2020 at 10:13 pm

    @dhanpaul narine be very careful when referring to conspiracy theories.

    “The theory was popularized by white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and convicted felon David Lane around 1995, and has been leveraged as propaganda in Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia.

    Similar conspiracy theories were prevalent in Nazi Germany[34] and have been used in present-day interchangeably with,[35] and as a broader and more extreme version of, Renaud Camus’s 2012 The Great Replacement, focusing on the white Christian population of France.[36][37]

    Since the 2019 Christchurch and El Paso shootings, of which the shooters’ manifestos decried a “white replacement” and have named The Great Replacement; author Bat Ye’or’s 2002 Eurabia concept,[38] Camus’s 2012 Great Replacement fallacy (often called replacement theory or population replacement),[39] and Gerd Honsik’s resurgent 1970s myth of a Kalergi plan,[35] have all been used synonymously with “white genocide” and are increasingly referred to as variations of the conspiracy theory.”


    • Trevor  On 01/18/2020 at 9:58 pm

      Don’t worry with a last name like that you could always check on your tenants in NYC and see ten Guyanese of a certain political leanings crowding themselves in a one-bedroom apartment. The same Guyanese who preach close the borders would be the first to be deported after an ICE raid in NYC.

      The Guyanese who are set against the changes taking place are the old heads and the brainwashed who can’t see beyond their remote villages.

      The refugee crisis is taking place all over the world! Our country is situated right in the heart of the refugee crisis.

      Venezuela is our neighbour! What do these narrow-minded fools expect? The Police can’t even catch a bandit, yet you want billions of dollars in funding to patrol the borders? Some of the narco gangs have set shop up in the Barima area and their guns are more powerful than what the GDF has! Where will the money come from to upgrade the ammo and border costs?

      There is land which no Guyanese have ever stepped foot in!

      I repeat and reiterate that those who preach that the borders should be closed to Venezuelans fleeing collapse, are the ones who live in overcrowded apartments in America, Canada or UK.

      Even Freddie Kissoon had expressed that he doesn’t mind “a few million” people in Guyana, because a growing population was what made industrialised countries prosper.

      Countries like Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan have landmasses twice the size of Guyana, yet they have populations in the hundreds of millions.

      But a few thousand Venezuelans, and a few dozen Haitian arrivals at CJIA anger Jagdeo and his clique?

  • bruce.goldman  On 01/17/2020 at 10:20 pm

    I have to caution many of you that subscribing to the theory that the Latinos who are fleeing their homeland of Venezuela are cultural invaders is a dangerous path to tread upon.

    99.9% of anti-immigrant mass murders have been motivated from the idea that immigrants are responsible for [quote] making locals a minority [unquote].


    It puzzles me as to why a country like Guyana would end up becoming a subscriber to the Trump rhetoric and anti-immigrant sentiment from Europe. How many Europeans live in Guiana these days?

  • dhanpaul narine  On 01/19/2020 at 3:53 am

    I am not peddling a ‘conspiracy theory’ nor am I against immigration. Immigration brings innovation. Oil and gas, in the quantities projected for Guyana, will attract thousands in the coming years. We cannot have a free for all policy. We have to pass laws to protect the Guyanese population, as we know it. If we don’t, immigrants will outnumber us and we will become a minority people in our own country. It is that simple. I keep quoting the case of Qatar and I keep seeing stuff on how Qatar mistreats it immigration population. Yes, it does, but that is not my point.
    We are a small nation with no experience in oil and gas and must therefore rely on the best practices of others to run our operation. When oils and gas were discovered in Qatar, in the sixties, the population was about 160,000 locals. This increased substantially, especially by the arrival of ex-pats. Today, the ex-pats outnumber the locals three times.
    So the locals have become a minority in their own country, but laws were passed to protect the country’s wealth and institutions. We need to do the same for Guyana. That is all I am saying.
    Dr. Gampat believes that it might be too late for Guyana to enact legislation. I disagree. The new Government, which ever it might be, will have a responsibility to devise policies for oil and gas, and immigration, and hopefully they will do so robustly.

  • bruce.goldman  On 01/19/2020 at 9:42 pm

    What defines who owns what of a nation? This sentence alarms me in which it is very similar to the arguments used by Donald Trump to cage the Mexicans at the border as if they were cattle.

    There might be contradictions in your arguments, but I doubt that Guyana will have an expat problem like Qatar. The oil is not coming from the onshore, but at the offshore. Qatar and the Middle East are strategic areas because it’s located closer to Europe, Africa and Asia.

    “If we don’t, immigrants will outnumber us and we will become a minority people in our own country.”

  • bruce.goldman  On 01/19/2020 at 9:43 pm

    My comment has vanished like the Mexican detainees at the US border…

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