A Venezuelan boy who migrated to Trinidad and Tobago with his mother died after his boat was shot at by the Coast Guard of that island country, denounced this Sunday the opposition leader of the oil nation Juan Guaidó.
“The death of a Venezuelan child, who along with his mother fled from the dictatorship, hurts our soul as a country. The shots fired by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard have no justification, they killed him (…) we ask for justice,” Guaidó wrote on his Twitter account.
For his part, David Smolansky, also an opponent, shared on the same social network a statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard in which they explain that they shot at the boat’s engine in an attempt to stop them and in “self-defense”, alleging that the migrants had tried to “ramming” them.
The officials argued, according to the statement released by Smolansky, that after inspecting the boat “discovered” that there were “illegal migrants” on board, who had remained “hidden” and were not seen before.
“Further checks detected an illegal migrant woman holding a child and indicated that she was bleeding. The boat was brought alongside the TTS Scarborough (law enforcement boat) and the injured woman was stabilized and taken to a local health facility. Unfortunately, the child did not respond” added the information.
Smolansky demanded that an investigation be carried out so that there is justice: “No more shooting, shipwrecks and deportations“, he wrote. The Venezuelan government, which has good relations with that of Trinidad and Tobago, has not commented on the matter at the moment.
The activist and member of the Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal Orlando Moreno explained that on Saturday night a group of 20 people embarked in the state of Delta Amacuro bound for Trinidad and Tobago and that the Coast Guard intercepted them.
“Relatives of the murdered boy tell me that his parents are shocked and are looking for another girl who was also on the boat. She would be held, they presume. On the trip they were also other children and adults about which there is no information so far,” he added.
The Venezuelan NGO Provea lamented the death of the child and assured that Venezuelans “flee” the country because of “hunger, not by choice.” “Countries must respect international treaties for the protection of human rights”he pointed.
The migratory route to the different Caribbean islands, the least used by the 6 million Venezuelans who have left the country according to the UN as a result of the crisis, came to the fore after the shipwreck a year ago of a boat in which they were traveling 41 Venezuelans to Trinidad and Tobago.