Guyana says Venezuela situation a concern for region; will welcome returning nationals

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana – President David Granger says the economic crisis in Venezuela will affect the security of the region and he’s hoping for an orderly resolution to the situation.

Venezuela’s economy has been in crisis since the decline in oil prices on the world market, with a 60-day state of emergency imposed last weekend. Granger, whose country is still locked in a territorial dispute with its South American neighbour, said he’s “deeply concerned” about the situation.

“Guyana has special interest because of the territorial question, but I think the whole region is concerned about what is taking place in Venezuela, and we hope that there is not going to be a resort to lawlessness,” he said.

In particular, the president expressed concerns about the involvement of the Venezuelan National Armed Forces in the crisis in the country.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has deployed military personnel on the streets as part of an operation to address the growing crime situation and protests.

“I hope that a legal approach is taken, an orderly approach is taken for the security of the whole sub-region because it will have an impact on the Caribbean as well,” the Guyanese leader said.

Meanwhile, the deteriorating situation in Venezuela has created a growing refugee problem that threatens to spill over to Guyana.

When asked by the media if he would accept refugees from that country, President Granger replied: “We do not have any agreement with Venezuela about other refugees, and that is not something we have considered.”

However, the President added, Guyana is obligated to accept any Guyanese returning from Venezuela.

 

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