Venezuelans stranded in the Dominican Republic due to the coronavirus pandemic asked the Nicolás Maduro regime for humanitarian flights to return home after spending more than five months in this Caribbean country and are in a very precarious situation as their economic resources run out.
More than 250 people are in Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, Santiago and other Dominican cities and among them are Venezuelans who resided in the Dominican Republic and, losing their jobs due to the pandemic, now want to be repatriated to Venezuela.
“Three lists were delivered this Monday to the first secretary of the Venezuelan embassy in the Dominican Republic, Iván Salerno. One of the stranded willing to pay for their air ticket, Venezuelans who live in that country before the pandemic broke out and need to return to pay for their ticket and those who also reside here and cannot pay for their flight, ”said Karla Camacho, one of the spokespersons of Venezuelans.
This is the ninth time they went to the Venezuelan embassy and provided all the necessary documents for diplomats to manage the authorizations that the Maduro regime must give for humanitarian flights and repatriation flights.
“We are going to wait until Wednesday for an answer,” Camacho told el Nuevo Herald.
Of the more than 200 Venezuelans, 168 have so far provided the requested documents.
Last week Salerno received several of these Venezuelans and then received a call from the Venezuelan ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Alí Uzcátegui Duque, who informed them of the “willingness of the embassy to mediate and carry out the necessary steps for the approval of humanitarian flights and repatriation ”.
Maleyva Zambrano, another of the group’s spokespersons, said in a telephone interview that Venezuelan diplomats promised to make arrangements with the authorities in Caracas so they can return.
Zambrano is with his brother in the Caribbean country after being trapped there because when they were preparing to return to Venezuela they closed their nation’s airspace.
“We don’t know what else to do anymore. Some of us came for a week or two, and we already have five months and 14 days. We feel that our rights have been violated by not allowing us to return. The Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to leave and return to their country. We understand the closure of airspace to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) has said that humanitarian flights will be allowed, ”he said.
Zambrano said that they are willing to comply with all the biosafety protocols established by the authorities and pay for them, even in the case of those who still have resources.
The Venezuelan insisted on saying that they are in a critical situation and need to return to their homes, to their jobs and to be with their families in their country.
“This situation is unsustainable for our physical and mental health,” he said.
In the group there are elderly people with medical conditions and who have not had the possibility to continue with their treatments and also minors who traveled to the Dominican Republic to participate in a sporting event and are separated from their parents because they are In Venezuela.
The Venezuelan authorities extended the ban on commercial flights and renewed for 30 more days the measure in force since mid-March due to the coronavirus, from August 12 to September 12.