Here’s an old hard and fast rule for you. The collapse of each experiment in socialism is never contained to the country where it began. That law is being proven yet again in Venezuela, where the turbulence and violence spreading across the imploding nation is now negatively affecting its neighbors, particularly in Colombia. So many sick and starving people are fleeing the tyranny of Nicolas Maduro that Colombia’s available resources to assist them are being overrun. USA Today has a few of the chilling details.
Venezuelan refugees and migrants who have fled their South American homeland has topped 3 million people. More than 1 million are in Colombia and almost 500,000 are in Peru, while the rest are in Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Venezuela is home to about 32 million people.
UN officials said the flood of Venezuelans have “strained” these countries and that UN refugee agencies are planning to launch a humanitarian response to the crisis next month.
As one of the Western Hemisphere’s worst humanitarian crises in decades worsens, the Trump administration has also taken notice, imposing sanctions earlier this month and even considering a potential military intervention.
The interviews with some of the refugees tell a horrifying tale. Young women with children are reduced to begging in the streets and some have abandoned their babies in the hopes that churches or the state will take them in as orphans and feed them. Groups of young women, some underage, gather at night in some of Colombia’s cities to work as prostitutes just to survive. Most of them came into the country illegally and have no papers so they can’t get legitimate work.
The United States has sent $48M in aid to relief organizations there and the United Nations also established a fund to help out, but with more than a million Venezuelan refugees in Colombia alone, there’s not nearly enough money to even provide basic food and shelter for that many.
The most telling sign of how desperate Colombia is can be found in their recent decision to stop opposing US military intervention in Venezuela.
Colombia, meanwhile, ended its opposition to possible U.S. military intervention in Venezuela while its president accused Maduro’s dictatorship of human rights abuses.
“We are experiencing the most outrageous migratory and humanitarian crisis in the region’s recent history, because of a dictatorship that has annihilated freedoms,” [Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez] said before the United Nations.
Don’t expect to see United States troops heading into Caracas to overthrow Maduro any time soon, but it’s rather telling that Duque would make the suggestion in public. Unfortunately, the only realistic way to get rid of the tyrant would be for the people of Venezuela and/or their military to do it themselves. That would lead to a constitutional crisis and the possibility of a brutal military regime taking over the country, but at this point how much worse could it really be?
Behold the end of socialism, just as it almost always happens. And this problem will not be solving itself any time soon.