Home Affairs, Justice and National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis has expressed concern over Venezuelans heading for this country.
Francis told reporters that authorities here have always known that Martinique, Saint Vincent and Saint Lucia comprise a triangle in which drugs coming from Saint Vincent go to Martinique in exchange for firearms.
“We understand in Martinique and so on persons are allowed to carry firearms and it’s more lax than in Saint Lucia, so we always knew that,” the minister explained.
“Now we have realised what is happening in Venezuela and you can see the exodus of persons from Venezuela going across the border to buy food – so that’s the lure,” Francis asserted.
According to him, the Venezuelans have reached the stage of desperation and are coming to Saint Lucia.
He observed that in a recent incident the police arrested two Venezuelans.
“This is worrying – this is very, very worrying. These guys will do anything and it stretches our armed forces so it is of very great concern to me. I will be speaking with the Minister of Foreign affairs so that we can speak to the Venezuelan Ambassador and see how we can cooperate in making sure that we can stem that tide of Venezuelans coming into Saint Lucia,” Francis said.
In Venezuela thousands have taken to the streets to vent fury at President Nicolás Maduro and his leadership.
The demonstrations have at times turned deadly with more than 90 people being killed and over 3,000 being arrested, according to reports.
Maduro is pressing ahead with a vote for a Constitutional Assembly on Sunday despite opposition within and outside of Venezuela.