‘I got some serious details to let out’

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Owner of the vessel – Lady Nayera – Kumar Lalbachan, standing alone side Toney Garraway and Richard Ramnarine both of whom captained the vessels.

…fishing boat captain to seek audience with President
…says they were well treated in Venezuela, glad to be back home

By Svetlana Marshall
After sailing 300 miles from Port Guiria in Venezuela to Charity on Guyana’s Essequibo Coast, Richard Ramnarine said he is happy to be back home after nine days of being held illegally in the Spanish speaking country.
Ramnarine, the Boat Captain of Lady Nayera, is one of the 12 Guyanese fishermen, who were detained by the Venezuelan Government along with their vessels. Last Wednesday, the fishermen and their two vessels – the Lady Nayera and the Sea Wolf – were released by the Nicholas Maduro Administration. They arrived on the Essequibo Coast early Saturday morning.

Ramnarine said while in Venezuela they were well treated by the Venezuelan authorities, as he ruled out any possible report of them then being brutalized and or harassed.
The fishermen were illegally detained on January 21 when they were unlawfully intercepted by the Venezuelan Naval Vessel Commandante Hugo Chavez GC 24 off the coast of Waini Point within Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The fishermen and their vessels were escorted to Port Guiria in Venezuela, where they were held for close to two weeks.

Ramnarine said once they were given the ‘greenlight’ to leave, they were provided with water, food and fuel and escorted out of Venezuela by the Bolivarian National Navy to the borders.

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Though not divulging specifics of the interception and their subsequent arrest, Ramnarine, who has been a fisherman for more than 28 years, said he chronicled the entire incident, and looks forward to meeting with President Irfaan Ali to propose a number of recommendations to prevent any possible reoccurrence.
“I will speak to the President himself, maybe Sunday or Monday… I got some serious details to let out but I can’t let it out on the phone, I would like to speak to the president,” Ramnarine told Village Voice.
He added: “I got pictures, I got all my working position, where they apprehended me, everything that they did, I did everything the right way because I know I was right.”

The Guyanese fishermen just before leaving Venezuela on Wednesday morning

Trinidad and Tobago, as the sitting Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), had teamed up with the Government of Guyana and other Member States to pressure Venezuela into releasing the Guyanese fishermen.
CARICOM and the international community, including the Organization of American States – the OAS, the Commonwealth and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States had condemned Venezuela’s posture and disregard for international law.

The Regional and International Communities had rejected any and all acts of aggression by Venezuela against Guyana. In doing so, it reiterated CARICOM “firm and unswerving support for the maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana”.

The other crew members, who were on of Lady Nayera, are Ramlakan Kamal, Nick Raghubar, Javin Boston, Michael Domingo and Joel Joseph. The other vessel – the Sea Wolf – was manned by Toney Garraway, Errol Gardener, Orlando Roberts, Christopher Shaw, Sherwin Oneil and Randy Henry.

Owner of the vessel – Lady Nayera – Kumar Lalbachan – told Village Voice on Saturday that he was overwhelmed with joy to have seen the fishermen and their boats. He noted that shortly after their arrival in Guyana, the fishermen were required to do a COVID-19 test.

Lalbachan told Village Voice News that Government of Guyana must be applauded for the safe return of the men. “We are very happy and we want to thank them so much. We have a good government. This what happened here never happened in history, many boats were taken away in Venezuela, many boats and lost, so this is a world record what happened today.”

The incursion by Venezuelan armed forces into Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the arrest and detention of the fishermen were viewed as a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Guyana over its maritime spaces.

The act of aggression displayed by Venezuela was condemned by the Government and People of Guyana. Through diplomatic channels, the country had moved to advise its sister-states in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the international community, including the Organization of American States – the OAS, the Commonwealth and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States on Venezuela’s posture and disregard for international law.
The incursion by Venezuelan armed forces into Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the arrest and detention of the fishermen were viewed as a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Guyana over its maritime spaces.



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