All throughout the summer and autumn of this year, Venezuelans fleeing the collapsing socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro have been creating a refugee crisis in several of their neighboring countries. Unfortunately, those problems are spilling out far beyond the borders of Columbia and Brazil. How bad has it gotten and how widespread is the exodus? At this point, the United Nations estimates that three million citizens of Venezuela have fled the rule of their tyrant and they are now among the top source of people seeking asylum in dozens of nations. (Washington Examiner)
As Russia’s geopolitical display of war-power in one the world’s most impoverished nations continues, the exodus of millions of Venezuelans leaving their home country in search of food, medical attention, safety, livelihood and, where available, humanity, has reached global proportions. From Canada to Australia, from Spain to Argentina, from Lebanon to Sweden, Venezuelans are not only emigrating in large numbers but nowadays claiming asylum in 41 countries.
At present, Venezuelans top the list of foreign nationals claiming asylum protection in United States, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Aruba, and Curaçao. They are the second largest claimant group in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
Last month, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR and the International Organization of Migration IOM estimated the number of Venezuelans fleeing their country at 3 million.
One big problem for the Venezuelan refugees who have to leave on foot is that there isn’t all the much help available to them in nearby countries. Columbia has been trying to help, but their resources are already strained. Some of their other neighbors aren’t on good terms with Venezuela and aren’t too keen on taking their people in.
Of course, a lot of people have to leave on foot because even those who were previously well-off found their fortunes wiped out when the country’s currency collapsed along with most of their industry and agriculture. Some were still able to muster the resources required for transportation and head to more promising locations, including the United States. But there’s no country that can just absorb three million destitute migrants overnight.
None of this should ever have been an issue. There was no reason for this tragedy to befall the Venezuelan people. Their country boasts vast agricultural expanses which are fertile enough to feed most of South America and used to do so year after year. They sit upon the largest proven reserves of crude oil in the world. They should be swimming in food and riches. But the socialist tyranny of Nicolas Maduro and his kleptocratic government have destroyed it all. Now the starving citizens of Venezuela who are not part of the ruling government party have become “somebody else’s problem.”
Unless and until this despotic, socialist regime can be overthrown and replaced with something – anything – else, the travesty will continue.