A sad mother cuddles her baby as she sits under a shed at Iros beach in Erin after a group of Venezuelans arrived at Los Iros beach, Erin, yesterday. 11/24/20

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is asking where did the money go when it comes to aid from the US to assist with Venezuelan migrants.

That’s in response to a statement issued over the weekend by the US Embassy in Port-of-Spain in which it defended its sanctions against Venezuela, saying it was against the Nicolas Maduro regime and not the people.

In the statement, the US Embassy also touched on the fact that the US is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance for Venezuela including some $11 million to T&T for Venezuelans living in this country.

That comment from the Embassy came just after Prime Minister Rowley said that this country got no assistance from anybody to assist with the migrant situation and Venezuelans living in the country.

When asked about his thoughts on the US Embassy’s statement Prime Minister Rowley said: “just bear in mind that somebody or bodies are getting and have received $77 million for this purpose.

“It is certainly not the Government. It explains a lot,” he said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne said it is “not unusual” for the US missions to make statements about their policy and perspectives.

The US Embassy explained said that the Venezuela sanctions programme was designed to “limit the Maduro regime’s sources of revenue and promote accountability for those who stand in the way of restoring democracy in Venezuela, while also ensuring the flow of humanitarian goods and services to the Venezuelan people”.

“With the incoming (President-elect Joe) Biden/ (Vice-President elect Kamala) Harris administration, and with Prime Minister (Dr Keith) Rowley becoming chairman of Caricom in January, the region can look forward to an even stronger focus on diplomatic solutions to the difficult challenges that exist,” Browne said.

“We anticipate 2021 to be a year of peace and progress even as the world confronts unprecedented threats such as the current pandemic, that demand a multi-lateral approach to nations,” he said.

The US Embassy also clarified that there are no restrictions on the importation of food and medicine but that Maduro used Venezuela’s revenues to buy Russian weaponry instead.