The swift deportation of 160 Venezuelans by Trinidad’s Ministry of National Security late Saturday came on the cusp of a planned meeting between Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.
The deportation also follows the fiasco last week in which 27 Venezuelans, including 16 minors, were escorted back to Venezuela on the order of Trinidad officials Sunday, only to return two days later.
That incident, which has attracted international headlines, prompted Maduro to request a meeting with the Trinidad &Tobago government to address matters of “security, human mobility, crime, and drug trafficking,” according to a tweet posted by Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza. The time and details of that meeting are yet to be ironed out.
Trinidad & Tobago Minister of National Security Stuart Young in a media release on Saturday stated that it had come to his attention, via a media report, that certain lawyers approached a High Court Judge and that the judge made certain orders pertaining to some Venezuelans who are in T&T illegally.
Young said the state was not represented at this hearing and he has spoken to Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi for this particular matter to be appropriately addressed.
In a statement to Guardian Media, Al-Rawi said the office of the attorney general has noticed unconfirmed reports in the media that proceedings were allegedly filed in High Court on Saturday relative to immigration and deportation matters.
“I can confirm that no proceedings have been served on the Attorney General, Minister of National Security or even the Immigration authorities as far as I am aware, and have been advised nor has for that matter, any order as reported in the media been served upon us,” Al-Rawi said. “If there are indeed proceedings they may have been filed and heard ex-parte without the State’s involvement.”