James: Get students out of Venezuela

Arsene James, Saint Lucia’s former Education Minister, has urged authorities here to get locals who are currently studying in Venezuela out of that country.

James told the Times that as a former Education Minister, he is concerned about the Saint Lucian students in the Spanish speaking country.

He spoke of the need to ensure that the students are contacted, to determine what is happening with them.

James told the Times there was also need for a plan to get the locals home.

While acknowledging that some Saint Lucian students currently in Venezuela may express an interest in continuing their studies, the former Minister asserted that everything should be done to ensure that nothing happens to them.

He described the situation in Venezuela as not being good.

“We need to pull out our students and make arrangements if possible if things get better, for them to continue or let them continue at some other university,” James observed.

He asserted that it was the responsibility of the government of Saint Lucia to help ensure that the students, some of whom are on scholarships, are safe.

James called on the current administration to appraise Saint Lucians of what is happening with regard to the students and ensuring their safety.

He declared that should anything untoward happen, the government and the Ministry of Education in particular will be blamed.

The Times has been reliably informed that some local students who were studying in Venezuela have returned home of their own accord.

Just this week Prime Minister Doctor Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was quoted by WE FM as saying that Vincentian students in Venezuela must make their own judgement as to whether to stay in or leave the embattled country.

But he said his administration would facilitate their return home upon completion of their exams.