3042160
Venezuelan nationals wait at the check-in area at the Piarco International Airport after the repatriation flight was stopped yesterday.

Dozens of Venezuelan nationals who spend the night at Piarco International Airport after their repatriation flight home was cancelled at the last minute on Thursday will finally be heading home this afternoon.

Sources have told Guardian Media that Venezuela’s state-owned airline CONVIASA, which is subject to sanctions by the United States, has been given clearance to land at Piarco. The repatriation flight is scheduled to depart for Caracas at 2 pm.

On Thursday, approximately 97 Venezuelan migrants turned up at the airport for the flight, which was due to depart at 6 pm, only to be told that CONVIASA had not been cleared to land by T&T authorities.

National Security Minister Stuart Young later explained that while preliminary approval was granted for the repatriation flight which was seen as a humanitarian effort., when the details were provided by the Venezuelan Government it was discovered that CONVIASAhad been sanctioned by the United States.

“Unfortunately in those circumstances, the Ministry of National Security could not grant approval for the aircraft to come to Trinidad and Tobago,” Young said in a news release.