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Venezuela: A Nation in Turmoil

Following months of COVID-19 lockdowns that ended one of the world’s most significant migration as of late, Venezuelans are by and by escaping their country’s financial crisis.

Although the number of people leaving is fewer than at the height of the Venezuelan mass migration, Colombian immigration authorities anticipate that 200,000 Venezuelans should enter the nation in the months ahead. Like most migrants, Venezuelans are flocking to Colombia in hopes of higher wages.

The new migrants are experiencing more antagonistic conditions than the individuals who fled their country before COVID-19. Safe houses stay shut, drivers are more hesitant to get drifters, and local people who dread the virus are more reluctant to assist with food gifts.

“We scarcely got any lifts along the way,” said Anahir Montilla, a cook from the Venezuelan territory of Guarico who was moving toward Colombia’s capital after traveling with her family for 27 days.

Before the pandemic, more than 5 million Venezuelans had left their nation, as indicated by the United Nations. The least fortunate left by walking, strolling through a territory that gets brutally hot during the day, yet can get chillingly cold in the evening.

As governments across South America shut down their economies to stop the spread of COVID-19, numerous migrants wound up without work. More than 100,000 Venezuelans have been forced to return home country where at any rate, they would have a rooftop over their heads.

Today, official land crossings into Colombia are shut, convincing migrants to escape through unlawful roads along the porous 1,370-mile (2,200-kilometer) outskirt with Venezuela. The dirt roads are constrained by fierce drug lords and radical groups like the National Liberation Army.

“The arrival of Venezuelan migrants is now happening even though the border is shut,” said Ana Milena Guerrero, an authority for the International Rescue Committee, an non-government organization.

Furthermore, Venezuelans are compelled to walk inside their nation for days to reach the border due to gas shortages. Colombia’s unemployment rate increased from 12% in March to 16% in August. For individuals who cannot afford to pay their rent, they are being evicted from their homes.

How did one of the world’s most prosperous oil economies become so poor? While Venezuela has not fought a war in recent times, the combination of falling oil revenues, rampant corruption, and poor governance has nearly killed the country’s economy. Consequently, diseases like malaria, measles, and diphtheria have returned with a vengeance, and the millions of Venezuelans fleeing the country are spreading the diseases across the region. To explain Venezuela fall from being one of Latin America’s most prosperous and most stable countries, Mark Green, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), blames President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro won, what many deemed, a fraudulent election that gives him six more years in power.

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Paul Stevens

Paul Stevens is a researcher, media issues analyst and senior contributor with Globe Afrique.
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