– many are the sole breadwinners of their families
GUYANESE fishermen, recently caught by Venezuelan naval forces in Guyana waters, remain in close custody, in Venezuela.
The fishermen, who operated their trade along the Waini River in two groups of six on the ships of Lady Nayera and Sea Wolf, were captured by Venezuelan naval troops.
This act of ‘interference’ by Venezuela has been condemned by local authorities, who have upheld claims that the two vessels, operating off the coast of Waini Point, within Guyana’s Unique Economic Zone (EEZ), were intercepted by a Venezuelan naval ship, “Commandante Hugo Chavez GC 24”, on Thursday, January 21, 2021.
According to information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Captain Richard Ramnarine, of Lady Nayera, and Captain Toney Garraway, of the Sea Wolf, after being captured in the Waini area, were instructed to charter a course to Port Güiria in Venezuela, where the two ships, registered at Essequibo, and the 12-member crew, originating in Essequibo, have been detained.
The Guyana Chronicle was informed on Sunday that the Sea Wolf crew members included Garraway, Errol Gardener, Orland Roberts, Christopher Shaw, Shirvin Oneil and Randy Henry while the crew members aboard Lady Nayera were Ramnarine, Ramlakan Kamal, Nick Raghubar, Javin Boston, Michael Domingo and Joel Joseph.
Sea Wolf owner Kumar Lalbachan when contacted by the Guyana Chronicle said the fishermen had been taken to court and then detained, pending a 45-day investigation.
Tricia Roberts, wife of one of the detained fishermen, Orland, told the Guyana Chronicle that based on what her husband had handed over to her, the men were kept on their boats, which were closely guarded by Venezuelan authorities.
“It’s not fair what they’re actually doing … if they are [the fishermen] they were in Guyana waters then they are not supposed to catch them for long … hope they come back soon, ”Roberts said during a phone interview on Tuesday.
She said her husband was the sole breadwinner of the house, so the longer he’s out, the more difficult he gets for the family.
RETURN BACK IN WAR
Family members of detained fishermen said that when contacted by this publication, they were eagerly awaiting the return of their relatives, as, in some cases, they were the sole breadwinner of the house. The Government of Guyana has since demanded the immediate release of crew and ships.
Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd on Monday called in the Chargé d’A Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela, Moses Chavez, to hand over the protest note from the Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. from Venezuela.
The protest note firmly condemns the illegal detention of the captains and crew of the Guyanese registered fishing vessels, Lady Nayera and the Sea Wolf, and calls for their immediate release.
Minister Todd used the opportunity to voice his concerns on the issue, and noted that the action that came out of Caracas was inadvertent. The minister further added that on both latitude and longitude, the two boats were well within Guyana territory and called on Venezuela to act in a manner consistent with the rule of international law.
This post was also handed over by Minister Todd to Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza during a virtual meeting on Monday. That discussion was described as cordial
According to a press release from the Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two ministers exchanged views in the context of the detention of the ships and crew.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister ensured that crew members were treated with the utmost respect for their human rights. At the request of Foreign Minister Todd, Minister Arreaza undertook to pursue their early release.
The two foreign affairs ministers agreed to the importance of mutual respect in relations between the two countries.