Nothing has changed in deep-sea Venezuela | news today
Migration is perhaps one of the phenomena with the most atoms. It is not simply the departure of a person from his country, it is the emptiness that a process like this generates internally and externally for those who suffer it. It is a psychological and anthropological damage at the same time, because it is essentially an uprooting. Uprooting that can be harder if the process is forced like what Venezuelans have experienced, where it is not a planned migration in which you meditate in advance and coordinate each step you take for your trip. No. The Venezuelan process is like a life race between a swimmer and a shark. Simply, getting on a plane to find a new destination is not the same as risking your life paying a coyote to take you to a “safe” place.
This Venezuelan migration has evolved as time has passed. Initially, we had a migration of the middle and upper classes, particularly the youngest, who were escaping the economic and social policies of those in power in Venezuela. These people were, of course, looking for destinations in the countries with the best employment, educational and economic opportunities, namely the United States, Panama and Spain. This migration process intensified as of 2017, when the complete erosion of democracy and the total devastation of the economy, reflected in hyperinflation, hit all of Venezuela. From there, we began to see how the poorest classes overflowed the country’s borders, thus reaching the tragic figure of 7 million Venezuelan refugees, the second largest migratory exodus on the planet. This migration was mainly concentrated in the countries of the region. Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador were the favorite destinations for those who escaped from Nicolás Maduro at any cost.
However, as of 2021, motivated by the changes in Latin America and the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, this migration decided to leave these places and look to the United States and the American dream as the only formula to conquer a life completely worthy. Thousands of Venezuelans have ventured through the dangerous Darien jungle in order to reach the US border. This is a journey full of challenges, but hopefully they were manageable challenges. No, they are challenges that are like a coin toss, if tails land you die and if heads land you live. A jungle in which to die is natural, only taken by those who have nothing to lose. According to the Panama Migration Service, in two years more than 250,000 Venezuelans have crossed the Darién. Last year, the use of this escape route was so intense that six out of 10 who crossed it were Venezuelan nationals.
This acceleration of Venezuelan migration to the United States also shows that Venezuela is far from recovering or fixing itself, as Maduro and his circle say. On the contrary, it is a crisis that is transformed and becomes even more acute and heavy for those who are not connected to the power of the day. Maduro takes refuge in propaganda, as well as in magnificent buildings, luxurious restaurants and opulent vehicles, to make believe that everything bad has been overcome, that Venezuelans are no longer going to emigrate, because now Venezuela is submerged in a kind of renaissance. The reality is that no costume or makeup can supplant the feeling of a country that suffers from not having how to feed itself, nor how to treat a disease. The recent National Survey of Hospitals, developed by an organization of independent doctors, revealed that in the main public health centers there is a 70% shortage of operating room supplies essential for surgery, including analgesics and anesthetics. In other words, in hospitals in Venezuela performing surgery is equivalent to running without legs.
The reflection that the situation in Venezuela has not changed and that, therefore, the intention to migrate either, is the latest survey by the firm Consultores 21. The pollster published a report where it is evident that three out of 10 Venezuelans want to leave the country; Of those three, at least one plans to leave Venezuela in 2023 and the other two still do not have a set date. 40% of those who said they wanted to leave are young people between 18 and 24 years old. The study has been carried out since 2015 and during all this time it has shown a constant curve in terms of intention to migrate, this only decreased during the harshest stage of the pandemic.
When asked if any family member has returned to Venezuela, 85% answered no. Regarding destinations, 30% of those who plan to emigrate have Colombia in their sights. 21% to Chile and 17% to Peru. It is striking that these last two countries continue to be in the migratory preference of Venezuelans, despite the fact that they have increased their restrictions and entry barriers for our compatriots. In other words, despite the migratory phenomenon towards the United States, what is expected is that in the short term the region will continue to face the direct consequences of the Venezuelan exodus.
For this process of massive departure of Venezuelans to be resolved, its origin will have to be resolved. Visas and other entry barriers, as well as the militarization of borders, are a cloth of lukewarm water for a much more serious matter. Attacking the consequences of the problem will only further worsen the suffering of Venezuelans. The solution is for the countries affected by the phenomenon to build a common framework with a view to pressuring Maduro to allow competitive elections in 2024. The alignment of positions among the countries of the region is essential in building a solution to the underlying problem. We must move from the principle of non-intervention to the principle of non-indifference. One cannot be indifferent to a human problem, nor can a phenomenon of this nature be varnished with ideology. You have to put your hand on your heart and help Venezuelans to return to their country in freedom.
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