PRESS RELEASE - VENEZUELAN STUDENTS ABROAD UNPROTECTED AND DEPRIVED FROM THEIR MONEY BY THEIR GOVERNMENT
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - PRESS RELEASE - VENEZUELAN STUDENTS ABROAD UNPROTECTED AND DEPRIVED FROM THEIR MONEY BY THEIR GOVERNMENT
Venezuelan Government also represses demonstrations abroad
VENEZUELAN STUDENTS ABROAD UNPROTECTED AND DEPRIVED
FROM THEIR MONEY BY THE NATIONAL ADMINISTRATION
Venezuelans sought help in the Venezuelan Consulate in London and delivered 108 letters
by students living in a severe economic condition in Ireland caused by the economic policies
made by their government. A long day that started with a peaceful call from the students,
finished with the assistance of the British police and a request made by the Venezuelan
Consulate to disperse the students from the area
By: Noelí Guerrero
Dublin, March 2014 – Last Monday, the 17th of March, four Venezuelans travelled from
Ireland to the United Kingdom, as representatives of hundreds of Venezuelan students who
are currently living in a poor economic situation, to seek help from the Venezuelan
Consulate in London, the nearest Venezuelan authority to Ireland.
Weeks before, the 22th of February, a demonstration was held in Dublin in which 588
Venezuelan students and residents participated. The majority stated that they have been
subjected to the inconvenience of irregular delays or unexplained refusals in their requests
of money from the Venezuelan government. Thus, 108 letters were obtained from those
people who expressed their willingness to communicate their problems to the Venezuelan
Consulate in London.
This year, more than 3,000 Venezuelan students came to Ireland to study English as a way
of improving their professional and human development. These students have invested their
savings in the only way possible in Venezuela to obtain a foreign currency, the National
Commission of Foreign Exchange (CADIVI, for its acronym in Spanish), the Venezuelan
governmental institution in charge of that procedure.
Protected by law?
Even when the Ministry for Higher Education had established in Venezuelan regulations, that
the study of languages is one of the priority areas for processing the requests of the foreign
exchange, today Venezuelan students in Mexico, Colombia, U.S.A., Spain, Panama and
around 500 students in Ireland, have been deprived from their economic resources.
The negative is based on the Article 8 of the Order 116 of CADIVI, which provides that the
approval of the Authorization for Acquisition of Foreign Exchange is subjected to the
availability established by the Central Bank of Venezuela and the adjustment to the
guidelines made by the National government.
There are some students that already have the approval of CADIVI; however, they have
been suffering delays from between one to four months in their attempts of acquisition of the
money, which largely exceeds the deadlines established on the regulations of that institution.
As a consequence, the integrity of the Venezuelan students is in danger, as they have been
forced to beg for money on the streets and to sleep in places in the unkind weather
conditions in Ireland, from a lack of basic financial resources. Furthermore, without student
visas or permission to work, they cannot work to save enough money to pay for an English
program or to at least cover their basic needs to stay in the country.
After fundraising money for a week to travel to London and collecting 108 letters from
students describing the critical position they now face in Ireland, Carlos Indriago, one of the
students who travelled to the Venezuelan Consulate in London, reported that the meeting
scheduled for the 17th of May on 9:00 am was rescheduled by the consulate officers to 3:00
pm of the same day. The students were welcomed in an informal office by the Consul
Roberto Bayley, who explained to them that he was new in the Consulate and he was on an
The students were asked to leave the office and wait in the Consulate’s reception area and
hours later they were invited by Bayley to meet outside the Consulate’s building. The Consul
informed the students that he personally sent the letters by fax to the Vice minister of
Foreign Affairs for Europe, Calixto Ortega. However, even when the Consul explained that
they would include the review of the matter in the official agenda, he could not determine a
specific date to give a response to the students.
Bayley added that he has received 30 similar cases in the last two weeks but a solution has
not been found yet. The Consul also offered money to the students, which according to him
was fundraised among the officers of the Consulate. However, instead of taking the money,
the students decided to chain themselves in the Consulate as a sign of protest, but a few
minutes later the Consulate’s officers left the place and two London’s police cars arrived in
Is it safer for Venezuelans to protest “on the other side of the road”?
The police, called by the Consulate, explained to the students the consequences of a
possible detention and informed them about their rights in the United Kingdom. The officers
gave the students the opportunity to unchain themselves and leave the area, they also made
it clear that in that country, the protest was recognised but not with chained people.
“The police were fairly kind to us, they told us that if we wanted to protest we should do it in
their territory, and they would protect us. That was absurd, how could they say that we would
be safer in the UK’s territory, which was on the other side of the road, than in the
Venezuelan Consulate from which we were evicted? We could not understand, we thought
that inside our Consulate we had the same constitutional rights that we would have in
Venezuela, as is determined in our Constitution”, Indriago expressed.
Students will continue demanding their rights
The Human Rights of the students abroad have also been violated, because even when the
law should protect them, they remain unprotected by the economic resolutions made by the
“Today lots of students cannot change their plane tickets, others already missed their flights
back home, and most of them are returning to Venezuela without even finishing their studies
abroad. We do not have a solution. We were dumped in a foreign country. We do not know
when we will get an answer, but we will continue making our claims, we will be soon visiting
Human Rights organisations to ask for support”, he affirmed.
Noelí Guerrero, +353 (83) 168 58 29 / Gustavo Ramírez, +353 (89) 403 92 64
sosvenezuelairlanda@gmailcom / firstname.lastname@example.org