Correspondent in Caracas
The United Nations Interagency Coordination Platform (R4V) confirms that the current exodus from the country exceeds six million Venezuelan emigrants, which represents 20% of its population, which places it among the highest in the world.
“We prefer to die from Covid-19 and not from hunger,” he confessed to ABC, Jose Pena, a metalworker, when comparing which of the two deaths may be more bearable amid the complex humanitarian crisis plaguing the Venezuela right now.
The UN indicates that on September 5 a total of 6,024,351 Venezuelans in the world, which means that 20% of the national population, according to data from the last official census, has left the country.
Of these, 4,978,078 are located in a country of Latin America and Caribbean. In the United States, there are more than 465 thousand Venezuelans.
Colombia and Peru
In Latin America, the countries where there are more Venezuelan emigrants and refugees are Colombia, with more than 2 million; Peru, with more than a million; and Chile and Ecuador, with more than 450 thousand each.
Brazil has already welcomed more than 261 thousand Venezuelans, while Argentina has received 173 thousand. Panama, the Dominican Republic and Mexico continue in the table with more than 100,000 Venezuelans each.
The UN has also advanced that the exodus could reach 7 million of Venezuelans if the migratory flow is not stopped due to the acute crisis that the country is experiencing.
Peña was laid off a year ago at a steel mill that is about to close for good. He is looking for how to emigrate with his wife and three small children to one of the South American countries, “the figure from the UN does not surprise me, this year I will be one more in the ranks of emigrants,” he says, regretting having to look abroad for what that you cannot find in your country.
A pandemic with unknown numbers
In the coronavirus pandemic, Venezuela registers 343,178 cases of infections and only 4,150 deaths, according to official figures. However, the president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, Douglas León Natera, points out that the Nicolas Maduro he hides the true figures and points out that it is necessary to “multiply them by 10, and declare a health emergency due to the collapse of hospitals and the lack of vaccination.”
Peña entrusts herself to God for the lack of hospital medical care, but what she cannot leave in the hands of Providence is feeding her family. He was vaccinated with the first dose of Sputnik but has been waiting for the second vaccine for three months, which does not arrive. That is why he is selling his humble home and an old motorcycle so that he can travel on foot with his light luggage.
“We are more afraid of hunger than of the coronavirus,” says Peña. His wife wins $ 1.5 per month, which is the basic salary, which is not even enough to buy a dozen eggs.
Poverty in Venezuela
Venezuela accumulates a chronic economic recession that last year registered a fall in GDP of 35%. And for this year it will not exceed 5%. Inflation is 5,500%. Too the national currency has disappeared. And the dollarization of the economy has not solved 89% of poverty.
Although the pandemic has finished wiping out what little remains in Venezuela, the economic, political and social crisis that has existed for 21 years has deepened. Of 14,000 registered industries, only 2,200 remain, working today at a third of their capacity.
In response to the needs of migrants, the Venezuelan opposition launched a digital platform with the aim of supporting migrants and allowing them to search for data on consular issues and employment opportunities, among others, the politician reported on Wednesday. Julio Borges from Bogotá.
«Today we are launching hermanosvenezolanos.com, a platform that we put at the service of all Venezuelans abroad. It is a tool so that they can consult information on consular services, humanitarian organizations, employment opportunities, among other options, “Borges wrote on his Twitter account, a message replicated in an opposition statement.
The website has a chat “that will provide useful information to the diaspora on consular processes, immigration measures, requirements for regularization processes and more,” explained the opponent, who was appointed by Juan Guaidó as its commissioner for Foreign Relations.