Guyana says it cannot accommodate massive influx of immigrants


Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall says Guyana lacks the infrastructure and policies to accommodate a massive influx of immigrants.

The Attorney General made these statements during an interview on Trinidad’s CCN TV6.

Nandlall’s statement follows on the heels of a decision taken by Guyana and Suriname on Monday to delay the reopening of the ferry service between the two nations.

Currently, there are more than 1,000 Cubans assembled at South Drain, Nickerie, Suriname waiting to enter Guyana via the ferry service, which was scheduled to resume operations from Dec. 12.

A high-level Ministerial meeting was convened on Monday, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd and Narciso Reinaldo Armador Socorro, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to discuss the issue. Nandlall and other Senior Ministers attended the meeting.

Over the years, Guyana has had many arrivals from Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba.

Nandlall told the Trinidad media that Guyana is being used as a transshipment point for Cubans being smuggled into Brazil.

The Attorney General also revealed, “We have said to the Cuban Ambassador, we have said to Suriname, deal with those people over there. We do not have the space to accommodate them at this point in time.”

He highlighted that many Cubans are also entering Guyana with the hopes of acquiring American visas. The Government, he said, is working with the United States to address this issue.

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill said the Cubans on Suriname’s border pose a problem for both Guyana and Suriname.

“Opening the border this weekend without resolving that issue is to create another problem.”

Minister Edghill said during his meeting with Suriname’s Minister of Communication, Transport and Tourism, Albert E. Jubithana, on Monday they agreed that the matter at South Drain must be resolved.

“We both agreed in principle that we will delay the opening of the South Drain/Moleson Creek Crossing until our colleagues in Foreign Affairs and at other Governmental levels, solve the issue of the caravan that is at South Drain. So, the date for the reopening of the ferry has been postponed.”

The restart of the ferry service had been announced in the gazetted Covid guidelines for this month as the Government makes a guarded reopening of the country.

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