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Relatives of the five Trinida-
dians incarcerated in Venezuela
hope that some sort of resolution
will take place soon to be reunit-
ed with their loved ones.
The hopes of these relatives
were kept alive following Tues-
day s announcement by Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
that discussions were made with
Venezuelan President Nicolas
Maduro about the detention of
Persad-Bissessar said she and
Maduro spoke about the justice
system of Venezuela and also gave
the assurance that T&T s minis-
ters of Foreign Affairs and Nation-
al Security would have further
dialogue on that matter with the
The five men Wade Charles,
Dominic Pitilal, Asim Luqman,
Andre Battersby and Leslie Dais-
ley, were arrested on terrorism
charges on March 19, 2014, after
the Venezuelan intelligence agency
raided their hotel rooms.
Speaking with the T&T
Guardian on Wednesday, Charles
mother, Gloria Charles-John said
she now feels a sense of confi-
dence that things will be resolved.
"I think that everything was
blown out of proportion but I am
just waiting and praying to God,
keeping the faith and hope that
things will work out."
Charles-John explained that life
without Charles for the 11-plus
months has been very hard for
her as he was the only breadwin-
ner of the household.
"He has ten children and I am
only a pensioner and I have to
see about the house and his chil-
dren because his wife is also
"All the families and children
of these men are suffering and
up to now the Government has
not intervened and asked us how
we, the families are coping. Up
to now they have not even sent
a bag of groceries for us," she
Pitilal s wife, Siddiqa claims her
husband, and other four, have lost
all confidence in the Government.
"The T&T Government has
sent two diplomatic notes, yes,
but they feel that not much was
done to follow up on it.
"With the PM s remarks we still
have to wonder the outcome.
While we still have hope, we don t
want to put all hope in it.
"It is hard for us. I feel that
they are victims of the justice
system and the political unrest
that is happening in Venezuela.
When is this whirlwind going to
"When is the T&T Government
really going to take responsibility
over what has happened to these
men?" Siddiqa said.
Luqman s wife, Amina, on
behalf of her husband and Bat-
tersby, said it was time for
Venezuela to set them free.
"The children are longing to
see their fathers. Every day they
are asking for them and excuses
are running out. I don t know
what will happen but since the
prime minister had her Eid dinner
she made a promise to us and we
are still waiting."
Daisley s wife, La Toya, said she
is hopeful but yet skeptical. "It
is so disappointing that for so
long this thing is ongoing and
both governments still have to
talk and reason. It is frustrating
but I am still keeping hope."
Head of the Waajihatul
Islaamiyyah (The Islamic Front)
Umar Abdullah also weighed in
on Persad-Bissessar s comments.
Abdullah welcomed Persad-
Bissessar s efforts but questioned
why Maduro did not venture to
make any commitments or men-
tion pertaining to the detainees
in his speech.
He asked: "If these discussions
are going to take place between
these ministries, when will it start
and on what grounds would they
be taking place?
"Is there something on the
table that they are negotiating
and using this situation as the
basis? It should have been all in
fairness that the Venezuelan pres-
ident should have addressed him-
self as well," Abdullah said.
Maduro arrived on Tuesday for
the signing of a new agreement
on energy affairs with T&T.
New hope for freedom
after Maduro's visit
Families of five Trinis detained in Venezuela:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrives with his wife Cilia Flores on
Tuesday at the Southern Terminal of Piarco International Airport for his one day
working visit. PHOTO COURTESY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES LIMITED
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Nicole, Gary on new mission ---A12
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