GUYANA: Government plans to integrate migrants and re-migrants into society – Foreign Secretary

 Venezuelan immigration to Guyana:


Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, addressing migrants and  re-migrants   .

Apr 25, 2021 – Kaieteur News Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, announced yesterday, that his government has made plans to integrate migrants and remigrants from Venezuela, into various sectors of the Guyanese society. Persaud made this announcement, during an engagement with the migrants residing on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two.

In his opening remarks, the Foreign Secretary said that his objective is to listen to the various issues affecting migrants in Region Two.     

He further pointed out that the government’s aim is to better facilitate persons who have resettled in Guyana, or are `settling for the first time: “There are two categories, the first aspect is focusing on Guyanese who have been living in Venezuela. The second category is looking at Venezuelans who have been living in Venezuela.”

Persaud added that his government is working on a policy to explore means in which migrants can be integrated into the various sectors across Guyana. In explaining how the policy will affect migrants, the Foreign Secretary said, “the policy will outline how we treat migrants. The policy, once rolled out will outline guidelines that will address issues affecting them.”

He continued, “We are taking a holistic approach, as we will be linking migrants to our housing sector, business, and even labour so that they can be fully integrated into our society.”

Persaud emphasized too that there is a need for more labour workers and skills in Guyana.

“We need more labour skills, we have close to 800,000 persons, but we should have another 50,000 in the next two to three two years,” said the Foreign Secretary.

Persaud guaranteed Guyanese during the outreach, that even though his government wants to integrate the migrants into the local work force, there will still be employment opportunities for all.

“There is enough space in our labour force for all. We don’t want the persons in Guyana to feel that opportunities are being taken away from them. There is enough space and a lot of opportunities will be available for them.”

It should be noted that in recent years, there has been an influx of migrants and remigrants from the neighbouring countries into Guyana. A majority of these persons have crossed over from Venezuela, fleeing their country’s severe economic crisis.


Venezuelans in the midst – Editorial – Kaieteur News

Apr 23, 2021 – Kaieteur News – Every now and then, there is a news item that reminds us that we have many of our neighbours living here. But truth be told, nobody knows with any great degree of accuracy, how many Venezuelans are present. It would be fair to say that our officials have some idea of their numbers, but that could be more a matter of educated guesses, on the one hand, and outright speculation, on the other. But the higher the number of Venezuelans present in this country, the greater the concern and probability of problems in a wide array of areas.

It is believed that there are several tens of thousands of our hungry and hurting neighbours in Guyana. That could easily be somewhere north of 50,000, or not too much lesser. When numbers alone are considered, there has to be alarm and worry in official circles. Alarm and worry because the situation in Venezuela is grim, and when that is so, people look for any exit point.

They flee with whatever they can carry in the hope of gaining relief, any kind of relief. This has been the history of man from time immemorial, where he is always on the move, when the pressures in his social environment build, the prospects are dimmest and there is no option left, but to hit the road, and to anywhere that will accept.

As much as Guyana and Guyanese are sympathetic (because they know of such travails) and want to lend a helping hand to those in need, we can only accommodate so many, absorb so much. So, when the talk and conclusion is of tens of thousands, the concerns intensify on many levels. At the government level, the issues are of social services, not abundant to begin with, that are stressed to beyond what can be borne. The housing sector currently only has space for so many, and with an emphasis on those who can pay for land and the construction of a home. That is a nonstarter for many of the Venezuelans who come here hoping to start over from the bottom, and without anything, but the clothes on their backs, and a few dollars, if even that.

Along the same lines, the Guyana job market, always tightly strapped by any measurement used, is unable to cope with local job needs, with unemployment largely believed to be in the double-digits percentage. This is a stark picture, which oil related employment demand could relieve to some extent, but not by much more, and only with the passage of time. There are several points embedded in this reality, especially as it relates to Venezuelans, and on which we now elaborate.

First, it is believed, and is the local experience, that a considerable number of the incoming Venezuelans are non-English speakers, and this is even at a basic, getting by level. That is a problem for job seekers, and entities with jobs to fill. Second, there are very few jobs left to offer to Venezuelans, should they speak English. Some local employers in the retail merchandising sector have taken a chance and pushed the envelope with a few Venezuelans, who are extremely limited in what they can do to assist inquiring customers. It goes without saying that such labour is much cheaper than that of regular job seeking Guyanese. Third, if incoming foreigners – be they Venezuelans or whomever – are unable to work and earn, then there are several things that are beyond their reach.

This includes housing and paying the rent. This would extend to putting food on the table and feeding themselves and their families, whether the latter is here or in Venezuela. In such circumstances, where the outlook is discouraging, and the reality worse, the alternatives are homelessness and crime, if only for the sake of survival. This is already happening in drips and drabs, and largely under the radar.
An early bird parishioner was robbed by a Venezuelan (immediately apprehended) outside a local place of worship in Central Georgetown. There are reports of Venezuelan “encampments” aka squatting areas on the East Bank Demerara, by the western riverside; and what is called ‘Venezuelan Scheme’ on the lower East Coast Demerara. There may be other enclaves around the near and far outskirts of Georgetown. Regarding the interior locations, it is anybody’s guess as the total number of Venezuelans present.

Venezuelans have helped us before in their good times and our bad ones. Our times are struggling to get to a good plateau, but we are still open to helping. The reality is that we can only welcome so many and do so much, given what we have right now. We can barely carry ourselves, which means that we would be unable to carry too many of them. And that is the bottom-line; no matter how we look at this.

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Comments

  • Dennis Albert  On 04/26/2021 at 12:36 am

    Like Robert Persaud mekking 50,000 new babies in “two to three years” or what?

    The population like it growing to 900,000 soon?

    • kamtanblog  On 04/26/2021 at 6:01 am

      Simple Simon suggests
      100.000 pa = 500.000 in 5 years.
      Economic migrants benefit their host
      country …. registration rules and monitoring
      these EM is the issue !
      Any breaches of immigration laws must be addressed with “extradition”…return to sender.
      No ifs or buts !
      Not holding my breadth !

      • Dennis Albert  On 04/26/2021 at 1:32 pm

        The wages in Venezuela were higher than America, Canada or England during the 70s and 80s.

        Those Venezuelans wouldn’t be in GT if it weren’t for sanctions and American bullying.

        Venezuela was a better place to live in than the ABCEU countries, with better wages, climate, culture and for the guys, better women lol

  • Georgy Porgy  On 04/26/2021 at 8:54 am

    The government need to address the housing needs of Guyanese first. They’ve been crying out for years.

    • Dennis Albert  On 04/26/2021 at 1:27 pm

      Who is paying US$50,000 for a squatter sized home in Vreed en Hoop or Parfait Harmonie?

      House price gone sky high. It’s going to get worse when the Asian investor assumes that the 1 million barrel per day equates to first world home prices.

  • detow  On 04/26/2021 at 4:03 pm

    Two things that Guyana authorities may consider;

    1 Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing —-too many Venezuelans in Guyana who
    may remain loyal to their country of birth and can be used as inside operators
    in case of conflict (war) with their country of origin over the border issue and

    2 Use those who are presently in Guyana. and can be deemed to be
    desirable, to begin development of a new Capital City in the interior; provide
    them with the means of growing their own food and materials for basic housing.
    The offer of Guyanese citizenship to those who are willing to enter this process,
    after serving three years. Those refusing this offer to be returned to
    Venezuela, not and ifs or buts.

    Non-violent Guyanese prisoners could also be considered for integration into
    this process.

    It is time that Guiana politicians start thinking outside the box.

  • Dennis Albert  On 04/27/2021 at 1:06 am

    Hypocrite Trinis:

    WE DON’T WANT THE VENES!

    BUT GO TO CANADA BY CHEATING THE SYSTEM [using the “student” route]:

  • Dennis Albert  On 04/27/2021 at 1:07 am

    Hypocrite Trinis don’t want Venezuelans, yet they encourage migrating to Canada by cheating the system:

  • brandli62  On 04/27/2021 at 3:25 am

    A program to integrate Guyanese returning from Venezuela makes a lot of sense. What are the numbers of re-migrants that one can expect? I would be more cautious about inviting Venezuelans to migrate to Guyana given the unresolved border issues.

    The priorities to meet the labor demands of the growing oil industry should be as follows: 1) Train local Guyanese, especially the young. 2) Reach out to the Guyanese diaspora. 3) Recruit from the English-speaking Caribbean nations. 4) Recruit world-wide to find experts, where necessary.

    • kamtanblog  On 04/27/2021 at 3:51 am

      IMO
      The Norwegian approach to oil wealth seems
      the most favourable/fra stable way forward.
      Maybe they should be invited to Guyana as advisers/consultants. Triniland is a divided
      Nation state both economically and politically.
      Dem get rich too quick ! POS a no go area
      after dark/drugs and guns culture ?
      Will Guyana GT follow or lead with its newly
      discovered oil wealth ? My jury out !
      Won’t hold my breadth either !

      Happy days !

      Kamtan uk-ex-EU
      UK oil wealth has all but dried up with nuclear
      to replace icoal/oil as its energy source.
      Today nuclear is “clean” energy source
      complimented with wind/wave/solar.
      Old king Coal and oil “history”
      My two cents.

      • Dennis Albert  On 04/27/2021 at 1:28 pm

        Exxon-Mobil struck oil this morning at the Uaru well giving the total oil reserves to 10.5 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent.

        Yet minimum wage in Guyana is G$44500 a month.

  • brandli62  On 04/27/2021 at 4:13 am

    Agreed. As I had argued in the past, Norway runs the most profitable sovereign wealth fund in the world. It will provide the Norwegian people profits from it’s endowment for decades to come. Guyana’s National Resources Found (NRF) is modelled, at least in part, along the Norwegian model. Importantly, and I am not sure the Guyanese government see it the same way, a successful Sovereign Wealth Fund only releases and the profits of the investments to the national government for spending. This might a best make up 5% of the fund annually. In Guyana’s NRF, has holds currently about 300 million USD. 5% would be 15 million USD, which is much less the most Guyanese would be expecting at present. However, by 2030 NRF could hold 9 billion USD. At 5% that would amount to 450 million USD annually that would feed the government coffers. The budget of the Guyanese Government for 2021 is 1.83 billion USD. Hence the oil fund could contribute 25% towards the annual budget in 2030. Keep in mind these numbers are a conservative estimate. The oil revenues could increase significantly in the next ten years, once 1) Exxon investments have been paid; 2) more oil fields are are discovered; and 3) gas contributes to the oil revenues.

  • wally n  On 04/27/2021 at 1:54 pm

    Would be great… if it were so easy..I hope, but I see, you get a new bridge and you get a hotel, and so on and so on. Couple dollars can change a mind, billions can pollute many many more.
    Regardless of party, Guyanese better become more involved, be heard, this is a one timer, only.

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