Letter: The Rowley-led regime is saying that professionally, we should orphan our children and adopt others?


Dear Sir:

I am not saying to be inhumane to the plight of Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia or Afghanistan,  but Trinbago is not a dumping ground for starving refugees. We would never be a great or sustainable nation if we have a careless humanitarian approach without any restrictions, and are flooded by an unregulated invasion that has no lid or criteria whatsoever.

The Rowley regime is wrong.

On November 7th 2018, Stuart Young announced that “the Cabinet has taken a decision to restore 14 Coast Guard interceptors back into service in the shortest possible time” to protect our coastlines. Five months later, he announced two interceptor vessels were sent to Tobago. What about the other 12? A nation without border protection has lost its sovereignty.

Today, Venezuela has daily press advertisements promoting the Trinidad and Tobago amnesty. My friends from many landing sites have confirmed that this week smugglers’ vessels have been arriving three to four times more than before. Landing sites where normally two or three vessels were entering our borders, now have 10 to 15 vessels entering every night, each with 20 to 25 refugees.

Today we are registering ever increasing numbers of Venezuelans at the expense of our long-suffering citizens. We are being invaded while Cabinet welcomes them. Is this wise leadership or a gross national betrayal?

Who is going to employ our young when Venezuelans are willing to work for next to nothing as a form of survival? Where will our vulnerable 20,000 school leavers find jobs each year?

There are more Venezuelans in Trin-bago today than there are Vincentians, Grenadians, Nigerians, Guyanese, Syrians and Chinese put together. Venezuelans now form the largest minority.

Today, known fast food outlets are advertising for employees in Spanish. Trinbagonians would not work for the minimum wage because it is insufficient to survive in this economy. Businesses must be accommodating, innovative and productive to afford to employ our own people. These are our own children. What is the Rowley regime saying: that we should orphan our children and adopt others?

As business people we have a calling to corporate social responsibility and a higher moral duty to our country and our people. We must not remain silent but instead, we are being encouraged to betray Trinbagonians and just say “we’ll employ Venezuelans because our people are lazy”. This discriminatory rubbish must stop now!

We must make Trinidad and Tobago strong first.  

Open borders are wrong. Cabinet is failing us by knowingly doing nothing to protect our sovereignty.

Our health care system and public services cannot accommodate tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of additional people. Remember – not all are registering; the Immigration Division has never been able to control illegal immigration and inevitably, the Venezuelan invasion will snowball.

We have a duty to our people first. We must demand: Close our Borders Now.

The open-border Rowley Cabinet have led us down a path that will take generations to repair.


Gary Aboud



  1. Mr Aboud… Hold up a mirror to view your own family history. A century ago Trinidad received yet another wave of thousands of economic refugees. They came from Syria and Lebanon, were Jews and Moslems, they came from Portugal and China.

    Where did your ancestors come from? When?
    Where did they arrive? The same “dumping ground” that the current wave of refugees are arriving at. You were exactly what they are.

    Don’t pretend now that you were any better or more worthy of getting refuge than the hundreds of thousands who landed at our shores from the Fatel Rozack to the small islanders in the late 1900s.
    Dont claim poverty as a rationale for vitriol. We were much poorer before than we are now..

    Each wave of refugees has added to who we are. Each wave had bad guys and good guys. Each wave had some who returned and many more who remained.

    While we are sanctimoniously at it remember that thousands left our shores and went illegally to the US and Canada. Thousands more were of the Windrush generation who migrated as economic refugees to the UK. And of course when the oil industry started In Maracaibo guess where thousands of Trinis went looking for work? The Venezuelan oil fields.

    There is a crisis on our hands yes. Building animosity and hatred is not a solution.


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