Colombian residency status for Venezuelan refugees is a bold humanitarian gesture

Colombian residency status for Venezuelan refugees is a bold humanitarian gesture

The epidemic and power shift in Washington on Monday led Colombia to a surprising conclusion: nearly 1 million illegal Venezuelans in the country will be granted a ten-year residence permit. This condition gives them access to a corona vaccine.

In December, right-wing President Ivan Duke caused further confusion by expelling Venezuelan people from the vaccine. Ghost said giving a shot to immigrants from neighboring countries would lead to more “stamping” of more refugees.

In recent years, about 5 million Venezuelans have fled hunger, hyperinflation, drug shortages and oppression under Nicolas Maduro. Colombia received the most of all countries in the region. According to the Migration Service, by the end of 2020 there were more than 1.7 million counters, of which 966,714 were undocumented. This group, which lacks particular status, is condemned to a life on the margins, without access to good care or a proper economy.

Also read: How Venezuelan refugees find the world as their national snack

The epidemic has made that situation even more dangerous. Severe locks in Colombia and other South American countries made it difficult to find daily income. And immigrants were often the target of discrimination because they were considered viral spreaders. In the first months after the outbreak, the Colombian polls saw more than 80 percent of those thinking negatively about Venezuela. It has now dropped to just 67 per cent again – a pre-epidemic stage.

It is politically courageous that the Duke wants to give refugees a status and a corona egg against this negative public opinion. However, his humanitarian gesture seems to be aimed at getting further help from the international community.

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UN The Duke made the announcement while visiting a room full of refugee leader Filippo Grandi, ambassadors and ambassadors. He called his decision a “historic and extraordinary move in Latin America” ​​that would be followed by other countries. Chile, Panama and Peru, which receive many Venezuelas, have recently made their immigration more difficult.

The Duke’s decision follows the inauguration of US President Joe Biden. Colombia has been a staunch Washington ally in the region for decades, while its relationship with the left-wing, anti-American Maduro regime is deteriorating. Bogota played a key role in the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Maduro. Washington attempts to block sanctions, recognize opposition leader Gaido as ‘interim president’, plan failed rhetoric and rhetoric on a military invasion Regime change In Caracas.

Maduro enjoyed the support of allies such as China, Russia, Cuba and Turkey

However, Maduro survived. He had the support of the military and allies such as China, Russia, Cuba and Turkey, and the opposition split, imprisoned or deported. By regulating Venezuelan immigrants in his country, he seeks to implement a less conflict, humanitarian Venezuelan policy under Duke Piton.

In an interview with Reuters news agency Duke asked last month More attention to South America due to the double drama of the Venezuelan expulsion and the furious epidemic. He suggested that the United States could help buy vaccines and allow companies to invest in South America to reduce the corona recession.

Nevertheless, Duke said, “To end this crisis, nations need to look at how to end the dictatorship in Venezuela.” But he does not think the situation in the neighboring country will improve quickly: in the next two years even more fleeing Venezuelans may qualify for a status. The 2,200-kilometer-long border is officially closed, but traditionally very narrow.

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Coincidentally, Corona has also targeted Venezuelan refugees in their home country. Maduro made it very difficult to return last year – calling the returnees “biological weapons”.

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About the Author: Halbert Geis

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