Socialism creates the biggest migration crisis in Latin America

Socialism creates the biggest migration crisis in Latin America
Socialism creates the biggest migration crisis in Latin America
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On Monday (25), Venezuelan journalist Miguel Salazar reported that six opponents of Chavismo, linked to the opposition leader, María Corina Machado, are taking refuge in the Argentine Embassy in Venezuela. The names of five have already been published, including Magallí Meda, Claudia Macero, Humberto Villalobos, Pedro Urruchurtu and Omar González.

Upon agreeing to protect opponents of Nicolás Maduro’s regime, the Argentine embassy in Caracas was left without electricity due to orders from the Venezuelan government to cut off the electricity supply to the residence. The incident was reported this Tuesday (26) by the Argentine government through a statement issued by the Presidency of the Republic.

“The Argentine Republic expresses its concern over the incident that occurred yesterday, which resulted in the interruption of electricity supply to the official residence in Caracas, and warns the government of Venezuela against any deliberate action that puts at risk the safety of Argentine diplomatic personnel and Venezuelan citizens under protection, remembering the receiving State’s obligation to safeguard the facilities of the diplomatic mission against intrusions or damage and preserve its tranquility and dignity”, he published.

The persecution and censorship of the opposition has become one of the main factors for the emigration of thousands of Venezuelans in the last decade. In addition to fear, issues such as the lack of inputs, medicines and food also became fundamental in the decision to start a life in another country.

However, despite the high rate of emigrants and refugees from Venezuela, other countries in the region such as Cuba, Nicaragua and even Argentina itself (during the pandemic and the Kirchnerist government), also had to deal with the same problem. The strong state interference and population control in socialist governments ended up forcing companies and countless families to abandon their countries.

The Venezuelan crisis

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), “more than 7.7 million people have left Venezuela in search of protection and a better life; the majority — more than 6.5 million people — were welcomed by countries in Latin America and the Caribbean”

“Almost 80% are located in Latin America and the Caribbean, with no prospect of return in the short or medium term”, informs the agency.

According to data published by the agency, “in 2018, an average of five thousand people left Venezuela every day. Thousands of them cross the border with Colombia every day, while others head to Brazil, Chile, Ecuador or Peru, and there are others who make risky boat trips to the Caribbean islands.”

Regarding asylum requests in the region, to date, more than one million have been received. “Since 2014, the number of Venezuelans requesting asylum in other countries has increased by 4,000%,” says UNHCR.

The updated report from the Regional Interinstitutional Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V) indicates that by 2023 more than 2.88 million Venezuelans have chosen their neighbor Colombia as their main destination; another 1.5 million went to Peru; 510.5 thousand for Brazil; 474.9 thousand for Ecuador and 444.4 thousand for Chile.

No basic vaccines and trip to buy diapers

Venezuelan Teresa Alejo (38), graduated in Fashion Design, Special Education and Psychology, decided to emigrate to Argentina seven years ago with her one-year-old daughter, and then to the United States. For the teacher, it was “impossible to live in a country [na Venezuela] where there were not even basic vaccines for a baby, mandatory for its growth and on the world calendar”.

Alejo comments that “it was an odyssey traveling to Colombia every month alone without her [sua bebê] to buy diapers, medicine for my brother’s epilepsy and food.”

Teresa’s story is similar to that of Carlos Romero (39), an industrial machinery technician, who went to live in Argentina in search of an opportunity for his wife and two young children. “Here in Argentina we had the opportunity to start our lives over again”, says the Venezuelan.

“Back in my country, there was no way to survive anymore. I remember that buying my baby’s diapers was a sacrifice and we went out on the streets for fear of being hit by a bullet due to the confrontation between the regime’s police and the population”.

The epidemic that is going through other countries in the region

In addition to Venezuelans, other Latin Americans are fleeing in search of protection and new opportunities. This is the case of Cubans who, since the beginning of the Revolution in 1959, have been looking for a way out of the country’s economic, political and social crisis. United States Customs and Border Protection (the main destination for Cubans) announced that in 2023 it recorded more than 153,000 irregular entries of Cubans into their country.

Added to the more than 313,000 who entered without documents in 2022, this “represents the largest number of Cuban migrants ever recorded in two consecutive years since the beginning of the post-revolutionary Cuban exodus in 1959,” said Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Institute of Research at Florida International University for the Infobae.

Latin America was also chosen as a destination for thousands of Cubans. More than 36,574 Cubans requested refuge in Mexico between 2022 and 2023 and another 22,000 went to Uruguay, according to official data presented by these countries.

High inflation, poverty and the advance of Daniel Ortega’s authoritarian government caused a strong migration crisis in Nicaragua. With 6.5 million inhabitants, the country has become one of the main contributors of migrants trying to cross the US border. Between January and November 2022, more than 180,000 Nicaraguans made the journey, around 60 times more than in the same period two years earlier, according to data from United States Customs and Border Protection.

According to the newspaper Confidential, between 2018 and 2022, 604,485 citizens left Nicaragua; around 100 thousand between 2018 and 2019; 14,773 in 2020 — the first year of the pandemic, in which most countries closed their borders; 161,269 in 2021; and 328,443 in 2022. A total of 328,443 Nicaraguans have already left the country in 2022.

At the beginning of the demonstrations against the Ortega dictatorship, in 2018, more than 100 thousand people had already applied for political asylum (among them, journalists, students, human rights defenders, farmers, religious people and businesspeople), in most cases for persecution, censorship and human rights abuse.

However, one of the factors that today increases the rate of modern emigration the most is poverty, unemployment and inflation. This was the case in Argentina, which, in 2020, 2021 and 2022, had one of the highest abandonment rates.

According to the National Directorate of Migrations (DNM), a total of 762,858 Argentines left the country between September 7, 2020 and April 14, 2022. The countries chosen as destination were Brazil, with 23.2% of immigrants; Spain with 18.8%; and Chile with 13.4%. The United States, Uruguay and Paraguay each received 9%, 8% and 6% respectively.

The data shows that the majority of emigrants are young people between 25 and 40 years old (39%). In turn, a less pronounced rate was observed in children between 1 and 5 years old (10%).

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Socialism creates biggest migration crisis Latin America

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