US Ambassador Joseph Mondello says refugees, guns, gangs, and drugs from Venezuela will plague the region until democracy is restored in that country.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Mr Mondello insists that the humanitarian crisis in the South American country is due to the failed policies and abuses of the Maduro regime.
Some have blamed sanctions for the country’s decline, however Mr Mondello claims the Venezuelan economy was in free-fall long before the US and EU sanctions in 2017.
He adds that a recent UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission found that since 2014, Venezuelan authorities committed grave human rights violations and crimes, including extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary detentions, and excessive use of force.
The Ambassador says the US will continue to work with T&T to help mitigate the consequences of this crisis, and looks forward to the day when Venezuelans feel secure enough to return home and rebuild their country rather than seek refuge elsewhere.