A Massive Exodus of Venezuelans Shakes Latin America
By admin February 14, 2018

Source: The Guardian ( The picture shows one of the bridges that connect Venezuela with Colombia.


In the last twenty years, the world has witnessed a significant flow of forced migration. The recurrence of natural disasters due to climate change has affected millions of people living in the Third World, seeing their livelihood shattered by hurricanes, tsunamis, or monsoons. Moreover, numerous geopolitical and intrastate conflicts have also triggered massive exodus around the globe. The fact is that whether it is the earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010, the Syrian Civil War, or the ethnic clashing against the Rohingya people in Myanmar, people have been forced to leave their homes and move to other destinations in search for food, shelter, and safety.


However, the most recent exodus in the Western Hemisphere does not respond to a natural disaster or conflict. Venezuela has not been hit by a hurricane, nor it has suffered a massive drought, and it has not gone through civil war. Yet hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are moving to neighboring Colombia, Brazil, and even to the small island of Curaçao. Since 1998, there have been many waves of migration in Venezuela. However, these previous waves shy in comparison to the most recent phenomenon both in magnitude and circumstance. Last year marked the most difficult economic period for modern Venezuelan history, leaving the country as the only one facing hyperinflation in the world. Moreover, food and other essentials have become difficult if not impossible to obtain. The general population, but particularly children, have suffered from severe malnutrition, and the entire healthcare system is in shatters. In a context like this, it is understandable that many seek refuge in neighboring countries, yet this exodus seems to be the consequence of the failure of public administration.


Beyond the issue of pointing towards the inefficiency, incapacity, and unwillingness of the government as the main perpetrator of this massive migration, what is evident is that the exodus is becoming a challenge for the entire region. Venezuelans represent the first nationality requesting asylum in the United States, Argentina has been receiving between 300 and 1000 Venezuelans per month, and Peru, Ecuador, and Chile have also received significant numbers of Venezuelans. But it is in Venezuelan neighboring countries where the movement is becoming a significant challenge. The Eurasia group calculates that there are almost 1.2 million Venezuelans in Colombia – where 96,000 Venezuelans entered this past November – almost 1 million in Brazil, and 600,000 in Panama. Both the Colombian and Brazilian government have moved troops to their respective borders with Venezuela. The Colombian president announced this past week that he would mobilize 2000 troops to the 1300 km border to monitor migration from Venezuela. Yet the biggest challenge for the region lies in meeting the humanitarian needs of fleeing Venezuelans. Most of these migrants are going to Brazil and Colombia to get food and healthcare given the continued precarious conditions back home. These are free services in most of Latin America, and Colombian and Brazilian hospitals are not being able, according to Human Rights Watch, to properly take care of Venezuelan migrants as well as their local populations.


It can only be expected that the outflow of Venezuelans will continue to increase. It is unlikely that the humanitarian crisis will be resolved in the immediate future since the last efforts at a political resolution through dialogue between the government and the opposition failed in January. Moreover, the government has been adamant in its rejection of any humanitarian assistance by the region. Ultimately, the government has not signaled its willingness to leave power or redirect the policies that created the humanitarian crisis. Therefore, what becomes clear is the necessity of a regional approach to the mounting humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Latin America


For More See


Mass exodus from ‘Mad Max violence’ in Venezuela

Venezuela is close to unleashing a Syria-like refugee crisis in Latin America

Colombia Tightens Border Controls as Venezuelan Exodus Grows
Colombia and Brazil clamp down on borders as Venezuela crisis spurs exodus

Hungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse

Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. But in the last three years its economy has collapsed.

Venezuela: Humanitarian Crisis Spilling into Brazil





Thanks for sharing !

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