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Security & Strategic Review - December 2018

Venezuela: Migration to the English-Speaking Caribbean

One of the consequences of the on-going socio-economic and political turmoil in Venezuela has been an unprecedented exodus of men, women and children, who are fleeing in search of food, safety, employment, and a better quality of life. A United Nations (UN) International Organisation for Migration (IOM) report revealed that as of September 2018, a staggering 2,648,509 Venezuelans have fled the country. The report added that, while the majority of them have migrated towards ‘traditional destinations’, such as Colombia, the US, and Spain, an increasing number of emigrants are going to “new destinations” in the region, namely Panama and Caribbean Islands, among others. While much has been written about Venezuelan migration towards the so called “traditional destinations”, not much light has been shed on the flow of Venezuelan migrants to other places, specifically the English-speaking Caribbean. With an emphasis on Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), this article aims to explore the number of Venezuelan migrants who have migrated to the Caribbean, the places to where they are migrating, the social and economic impact of this migration, as well as the responses of Caribbean countries.

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