Migrants plead: Give us a chance to work

The grow­ing ex­pres­sion of xeno­pho­bic com­ments to­wards the Venezue­lan com­mu­ni­ty has left many of them fright­ened, but many of them say they are just ask­ing for a chance to prove their crit­ics wrong.

The group Venezue­lans Unit­ed by Work has been sourc­ing jobs for Venezue­lan mi­grants even be­fore the reg­is­tra­tion process be­gan, but they are hop­ing the reg­is­tra­tion will now al­low for the com­mu­ni­ty to show just what they can con­tribute to the coun­try.

“Al­though some per­sons, not all in Trinidad, some per­sons in Trinidad they look at us as bad peo­ple. But not all of us are bad. We have the de­sire (to do good) here in Trinidad. There are many things that we have and I will want to teach the peo­ple in Trinidad about the good things that we have,” said Wil­fre­do Lopez, an ad­min­is­tra­tor with the group, “I make a call to our peo­ple from Venezuela, to do the right things.”

“A lot of us feel a fright be­cause all we feel­ing that all we want is one chance to do, de­vel­op our­selves, and help the na­tion de­vel­op too,” said Kevin Pol­li­dore, a Venezue­lan car painter, who has come to the group to find work.

Founder of the group Said Subero point­ed out that the mi­grant groups have come to Trinidad be­fore and built pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions to the coun­try’s growth to this day.

“If we get to­geth­er we think we can make it. You need love, that is what we need, so we can progress in the coun­try. Be­cause mi­grants from oth­er coun­tries come in­to Trinidad, and they went to Venezuela and they are pros­per­ing in the coun­try once they work in love and they work in peace and do hon­est work,” said Subero.

“I see Syr­i­ans get to­geth­er, they prove them­selves. I see In­di­an get to­geth­er, they prove them­selves. And al­so the Chi­nese peo­ple, they work to­geth­er and prove them­selves. So we want to do the same thing, we want to be a big group of peo­ple so we can set the ex­am­ple for Venezue­lans to prove them­selves.”

Subero es­tab­lished the group with the help of his daugh­ter, Shiv­onne Subero, whose moth­er is Trinida­di­an.

“He just wants to have a hub where we could be able to help a lot these peo­ple to dif­fer­ent jobs in the sense that they could be able to have some sort of in­come at the mo­ment while they find some­thing sta­ble. Whether it’s a sta­ble job or it’s a con­tract or it’s small job whether it’s paint­ing,” she said.

The younger Subero, who grew up in Venezue­lan but com­plet­ed her ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion in Trinidad, said she was hurt by the tri­als Venezue­lans had gone through dur­ing the reg­is­tra­tion process and hoped that the process would not be so rough go­ing for­ward.

The group al­so shot down some of the com­men­taries that sug­gest­ed the reg­is­tra­tion was a po­lit­i­cal mea­sure.

“We are not po­lit­i­cal, we have noth­ing to do with any po­lit­i­cal is­sue. We just want an in­de­pen­dent group that can help us or­gan­ise get jobs,” said Apolo­nia Cam­pos.

- by Peter Christopher