Venezuela’s dire situation continues to only get worse. Thousands of Venezuelans are trying to escape the country and are lining up at the Colombian border every day.
In Venezuela, there is a massive shortage of staple goods and medicine and the price for these scarce items have skyrocketed, making them no longer affordable. Most of the citizens have either two options, to starve or attempt to get out of the country.
So thousands of Venezuelans are making their way across a short bridge daily.
To blame for their suffering is their leader Nicolas Maduro whose socialist rule will evidently cause Venezuela to totally collapse.
“I’ll return when Maduro goes,” said Jeferson José Gutierres, who escaped Venezuela with his family, to BBC. “He’s a president who spends money while his people die of hunger.”
But Venezuela isn’t the only South American country in a dire state, both Colombia and Brazil are feeling the pressure from the influx of migrants.
“Brazil has also felt the impact of Venezuela’s crisis. In the first six months of 2017 — during a moment of significant democratic backsliding, human rights violations and medical shortages — approximately 7,600 petitions of refuge were filed with the country, far surpassing the previous year,” writes Panam Post. “The situation along the border of Roraima, Brazil — especially in the town of Paracaima — is increasingly difficult due to the number of refugees that Federal Police and other public services have to deal with.”
But since Venezuela is a short walk from Colombia, 25,000 are crossing the border each day.
According to reports from the BBC, from January to June of this year, 650 people stopped at The Scalabrini International Migration, but in August alone there were 850 visitors at the shelter. This increase just proves that things are only getting worse.
“The action of the authorities is fundamental, they are the ones who manage the resources,” said Franklin Díaz, who runs the shelter, about Maduro’s government.
The Colombian government has made the migration relatively easy for Venezuelans and has introduced “border mobility cards” were they can still go back and forth across the border even if they don’t have a passport. Over 700,000 have applied for these cards.
Even with that being said, that doesn’t mean that Venezuelans are getting the food and medicines they need once they get into Colombia.
“In February, at least 40 families per day were arriving in Cúcuta, Colombia requesting vaccinations for their newborns. Due to scheduling difficulties, only 20 people per day could be seen by a doctor,” writes Panam Post.
Many families are homeless and living on Colombian streets because the Venezuelan currency is now worthless.
“But Venezuela’s triple-digit inflation means their savings in Venezuelan bolivares are worthless once converted into Colombian pesos, so many get stuck,” writes BBC. “In the middle of the town is a roundabout with a large sculpture which reads “I love Cúcuta”. Some people are curled up sleeping in the letters “c”. Jeferson José Gutierres is one of those sleeping rough along with his wife and their three children.”
If Venezuelans want to return, Maduro won’t likely make it easy.
“At the moment, there’s a pretty big flow but not everybody stays,” said Luis Fernando Niño López, the secretary for victims, peace and post-conflict for the province of Norte de Santander to the BBC. “But what’s going to happen when they can’t go back because Maduro closes the border, or because armed groups that control the border won’t let people go back?”
Author’s note: More and more Venezuelans are blaming Maduro for destroying the country. It’s unbelievable that country with some of the richest oil reserves is so poor.
Editor’s note: We are beyond the prelude, Venezuela is in full collapse mode now. People are starving in a country rich with food and natural resources. They went from oil exporter with cash coming in by the boatload, to energy importer, runaway inflation, and people leaving in droves.