Tension between the US and Venezuela
In recent years, there has been growing tension between the US government and Venezuela. This tension increased in May 2020 when the Venezuelan president assured the Trump administration had sent US troops to invade Venezuelan territory.
However, by then, the Trump administration had already suspended commercial passenger and cargo flights with Venezuela due to the growing political controversy in the South American country and safety concerns. This happened in May 2019.
The Trump administration specifically stated that nonstop flights between the US and Venezuela were not available indefinitely. Adding to that, the arrival of the global Coronavirus pandemic also allowed the Trump government to curb immigration and close the country’s borders for a considerable period of time.
On the other hand, the Venezuelan government also closed its borders and plans to reopen airports in December 2020.
Venezuelans deported despite border restrictions
On Friday, October 16, 2020, the top Democrat senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, stated that the Trump administration carried out deportations of Venezuelans between January and March 2020, violating current restrictions and evading the responsibility to offer international protection to the most vulnerable communities.
The senator assures that the Trump government used third countries to be able to deport an unknown number of Venezuelans. Menendez declares that the Department of State (DOS) confirmed that deportations were through Trinidad and Tobago.
Joe Biden, the presidential candidate belonging to the Democratic political party, states that “It’s abundantly clear he (President Trump) has no regard for the suffering of the Venezuelan people”. Biden argues that the US government should offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to immigrants from Venezuela as they face ongoing armed conflict.
Adding to that, dozens of Venezuelan citizens remain in the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a considerable period of time because there are no deportation flights available.
Given the seriousness of the matter, Menendez sent a letter addressed to the secretary of state, the transportation secretary and the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), asking for information and details regarding these deportation proceedings.
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Venezuelan leader responds to accusations
Juan Guaidó is the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela. He is recognized as the president of Venezuela by dozens of countries, including the US.
Guaidó appointed Gustavo Marcano as Minister Counselor in the US, who states that these deportations included Venezuelans who had crime history or legal charges.
Marcano assures that the best solution would be to halt deportations from the US to Venezuela. He also proposes offering Venezuelans a temporary work permit.
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