The commissioner of the Organization of American States for the Venezuelan migrant and refugee crisis, David Smolansky, asked the TT government to release people being detained in this country over migration issues.

This was disclosed during Smolansky's stay at the General Assembly of the United Nations, held last week in New York.

Through a press release, he said he sent the TT government the formal request for the release of Venezuelans who are in local prisons for arriving in this country or establish themselves illegally.

In July, Smolansky questioned the statements of the Prime Minister, who said undocumented Venezuelans would be deported.

He saidVenezuelans do not leave their country voluntarily, but are driven to do so by widespread violence, human rights violations, the humanitarian crisis, and the collapse in the economy and basic services, which leads them even to risk their lives to flee.

Hence he urged the TT authorities to free Venezuelans who are detained without having committed crimes, and who are not deported.

He recalled that "for many years Venezuela received hundreds of Trinidadians who also fled from the lack of opportunities, and many were able to get a job and establish their families in Venezuela."

In addition, he asked for the co-operation of the Netherlands to initiate a registration process for at least 40,000 refugees in Aruba and Curacao.

He also said a million migrants from Venezuela will have the opportunity to receive a vaccination card. This will be called the Unified Vaccination Card, will be signed by ten countries and will enter into force in October. It will be for children (including newborns) and adults, and will be available in three languages.

That measure was agreed last month in CĂșcuta,Colombia, by health officials from the US, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Canada, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay.

The official explained that this effort may be the beginning of other social work to be implemented in the region. The card will allow recipients to have the vaccinations they require.

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