Last Sunday was the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (the UNHCR) estimates that there were at least 65.3 million refugees, asylum seekers, stateless people and internally displaced persons by the end of 2015. It estimates that in Syria alone, at least 5,000 of that country’s population flee their homes every day, with no end in sight to a war that has entered its eighth year.
Here on our doorstep, Venezuelans are desperate to escape the misery and oppression that have turned a progressive and proud people into scavengers for food, not knowing when the next proper meal will come or when they will be able to live free and productive lives again.
The UNHCR says that there are over 40,000 Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago, with hundreds of thousands of others who have sought refuge in Brazil, Colombia, Guyana and Curacao and in other neighbouring countries.