Guyanese mission to assess consular services in Puerto Ordaz

first_imgA Guyanese delegation will be visiting the Venezuelan town of Puerto Ordaz in the new week to conduct an assessment of its consular services provided there.The delegation, for the July 12 to 16 visit, will be led by Director of the Frontiers Department at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Barbara Halley.According to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, the visit is aimed at improving the consular facilities available in Puerto Ordaz, where thousands of Guyanese reside close to the border between Guyana and Venezuela.“So what we are doing [in Venezuela] is a reassessment of the consular servicesMinister of State Joseph Harmonthat are provided to Guyanese who are residents abroad. Puerto Ordaz, based on my information, there is a large amount of Guyanese living there… 15,000 thereabout and so wherever our Guyanese citizens live, we are looking at providing better consular services for them,” Harmon explained.The Minister of State added that the visit will also enable the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Citizenship to plan a more effective response to the influx of Venezuelan migrants and returning Guyanese nations from the Spanish-speaking nation.“In the event of the migration of Venezuelans coming and going, we can provide a better facility at Puerto Ordaz,” he noted.According to Minister Harmon, there is currently a Honourary Consul operating in that town, however, “when things happen”, he is forced to pack up and relocate to another place.“So we need to have a much more solid arrangement where Guyanese people can actually get the kind and quality of service that they deserve… and so the mission is going to look at these issues,” the Minister noted.Back in January, unrests broke out in Puerto Ordaz as Venezuela continued to plunge deeper into economic and political crisis, resulting in widespread looting due to the shortage of basic necessity items.At the time Minister Harmon had said the Guyana Government has put systems in place to facilitate those Guyanese who wish to return home as well as citizens of the Spanish-speaking nation wanting to seek refuge here.“We are in touch with our Consul and what I can say to you is that in the event that life, limb and property of Guyanese citizens who are there and who require assistance of the Government to relocate to Guyana, we are prepared to provide that service… We have [also] made arrangements at our side of the border to receive… Venezuelans who might be fleeing from violence in those communities. We have an international obligation to provide certain limited facilities for them and we are prepared to do that,” the Minister of State had said back in January.Over the past two years, Venezuela has been experiencing worsening economic turmoil following the decline of oil prices on the world market. The country is in its fourth consecutive year of recession.Reports coming out of the Spanish-speak state reveal that there is massive food shortage and limited access to basic healthcare and basic amenities such as electricity in certain parts. Additionally, there continues to be rampant outbursts of looting and violence across some of the most affected cities in the neighbouring country.last_img

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