«The rumbas» in Trinidad and Tobago

Foto: imagen de referencia tomada de internet, sin autoría especificada. 

“People get upset when they tell the truth, especially when Tane tanae makes it public, I don’t know why, but in reality that was pure rumba. Those of us with other objectives here violate us ”, says Norberto González, a 31-year-old Venezuelan who emigrated to Trinidad and Tobago due to the crisis. He has been in that country for three years.

He works in the fields, sowing and harvesting chirel. He says that he is lucky to be a worker for a good family, which has allowed him to grow in his work. He’s trustworthy, he’s earned it, he insists.

He saw more persecution and xenophobia on the part of the Trinidadians when the «rumbas» and the street fights of Venezuelans increased. The stigmatization of «Spanish» grew, without the creoles doing anything to change that reality. During the weekends they held different festivities accompanied by liquor, marijuana and lots of sex. Being in a WhatsApp group of fellow citizens, he could see what he considers damages the stay of «illegals.»

«It is their life, they can do whatever they want, but they must understand that this harms third parties who are here with other objectives. We are not in our country, there are other laws and we must respect them,”explains the young man from Venezuela, contacted by Tane Tanae through Telegram.

Public «rumbas» had the first consequences. On October 23, 2020, a group of policemen arrived in El Socorro, San Juan, after having received several complaints from neighbors who alerted of several fights of «Spanish» drunk, with music «at full volume.» This information was offered by a Venezuelan from the same sector where the officers carried out the raid and which ended with 22 illegal Creoles arrested.

The invitations to the «rumbas» were made by the Venezuelans themselves, even through social networks. Normally these ended with fights between compatriots and, although they used to hide behind the argument «this is my life», they did not measure the consequences of third parties in a country where most are in illegal conditions, explains Norberto González.

«They will call me pajuo, but you have to let them know. It is not bad to be partying from time to time, but not almost every day, creating problems or getting into drug and gun problems, because we all pay for one,”González questioned.

For now, the «rumbas» have given way, at least not as initially. This has been a relief among those who have seen the consequences of these initiatives. It has meant less of a burden for some Venezuelans already harmed by the persecution and xenophobia of those who claim to be victims.

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