Venezuelan mothers Angel Jimenez, left, Nahomy Aray, centre and Yemilys Del Carmen Cedeno Navarro with their children after they were released from the migrant detention centre at the T&T Coast Guard’s Heliport in Chaguaramas last night.

This country has been caught up in the frightening spectacle of the politicization of innocent children being used by certain politicians inside and outside of TT to breach this country’s immigration laws.

So says the PNM Women’s League adding, “The people responsible for putting the innocents on a small boat bound for TT should be held accountable for their irresponsible actions.”

And the League’s particularly slammed UNC MP Roodal Moonilal’s attack on law enforcement for trying to maintain the law in the recent issue of Venezuelans entering Trinidad and Tobago illegally.

The League weighed in on the controversy concerning the group of Venezuelans including women and small children who entered this country illegally last week, who were sent back, returned and whose matter is now before the courts.

The League stated, ” As mothers and daughters, it’s disheartening and heart-breaking to witness the ugly politics being displayed by certain entities in TT in the wake of breaches to border security.”

The League condemned the politicization of the issue by persons who sought to legitimise illegal entry into this country.

“Their motives must be questioned: are these minors a part of an even more horrifying plot, are they victims of human trafficking?

“One of the reasons a country has laws is to protect the rights of every citizen. While there’s the letter and spirit of the law at no time should we compromise the health and safety of our country or place fellow men, women and children at risk. Only persons void of vision and completely driven by a cultic obsession for power will suggest that the government should act in a manner that may be inimical to the lives of their own citizens.”

The League said, “Using human beings as political fodder and pawns is the remit of the Opposition Leader and her minions. Therefore, it’s no surprise (MP Moonilal) would use the same heartless, soulless approach, by using these vulnerable mothers, children, and babes in arms as weapons.

“Opposition forces are again attempting to create false narrative and stir bogus national and international dialogue about breaking nonexistent refugee agreements.

“We refuse to be entrapped by the wolf cries of a politician disguised as a sheep for human rights, when in fact he’s a wolf howling loudly for political gain at any cost – even innocent lives who may be victims of human trafficking. “

The League noted a March newspaper report where a former Petrotrin employee appeared in court for alleged offences of child prostitution concerning a Venezuelan national including controlling a child prostitute, receiving financial benefit from trafficking a child, transporting a child for prostitution and harbouring a child for exploitation.

Also noted was a June 2019 Venezuela Investigative Unit’s report on the sinking of two boats sailing from Venezuela to TT.

This unveiled a criminal ring implicating high-level law enforcement officials in the trafficking of migrants and children for sexual exploitation.

“In light of these devastating reports and magnitude of the sex trade it’s extremely unfortunate MPs would be so reckless to make this global crisis a political weapon. We too have family and friends that are unable to come home due to the very necessary actions of closed borders. There cannot be one law for our citizens and another for illegal immigrants – how could Moonilal attack security forces and authorities for maintaining the law?!”

And on the motives of OAS Secretary General Almagro on the issue, the League asked. “Where was Almagro when our tiny country opened our hearts and arms to assist our neighbours?”