Colombian presidential hopeful Juan Carlos Pinzon made the Venezuelan crisis part of his bid for the country’s highest office in a rally yesterday, saying that he would create a program to deal with the growing flow of Venezuelans fleeing the country. Pinzon said that the program would be run in Colombia with the help of the United Nations and the international community.

According to Pinzon, the fact that Venezuelan people looking for a better life in Colombia are pouring through the border and being allowed to settle “in any city, in any town” is “causing disputes”, and argued that a systematic settlement program is needed to assist the Venzuelan migration.

Pinzon said:

We should have–and I will–invite other countries, invite the United Nations so that we may make an effort with international resources so that we can give [Venezuelan migrants] a space.

The presidential candidate pointed out that the Venezuelan migrant situation is a complicated one, because the people leaving Venezuela are not doing so under ordinary circumstances, but rather are motivated “by hunger and fear”. He continued:

Many of them are of Colombian origin. Their parents or grandparents were Colombian, and some of them are Colombian, even born here. They lived there and now they are coming here, along with many Venezuelans. We have to host them here.

Pinzon is currently the Colombian ambassador to the United States, and served as Minister of Defense from 2011 to 2015. The Colombian presidential election will take place on May 27, 2018.

Venezuelan Diplomats See Cheques Disappear, Eviction Notices as Cash Runs Out

Noticiero Digital reported today that the Venezuelan ambassador in China wrote a letter to Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza dated November 21 imploring him to explain why the diplomatic staff in the country have not been paid in four months.

The letter, which was shown to Noticiero Digital reporters but not handed over to them, begins in the following way:

[Ambassador’s name] I am respectfully writing to you to ask that you tell us what has happened to the last for months of our salary…

The letter stresses that the fact that the Venezuelan diplomatic staff in China have not been paid in four months has resulted in “a truly serious and critical” situation, and that some diplomats are even facing eviction from their homes. The letter states:

We know that several embassy workers are about to be evicted from their homes for not paying their rent (…) we know that many of them no longer have a way to pay to feed their families…

Growing in desperation, the writer of the letter “humbly begs” Arreaza to ensure that the staff are paid immediately “in order that we may solve our very serious situation”, and that the daily businesses of the embassy is becoming nearly impossible to conduct. The letter says:

Minister, I can assure you that many of us are fighting fervently for maintaining our country’s esteem high (…) but in this circumstances, this task is becoming more difficult each day because our most basic necessities, like food, shelter and transport cannot be met as normal…

It is not known if Arreaza responded to the letter.

Maduro Celebrates 54th Birthday

Maduro turned 54 today, and celebrated with well-wishers and children during a televised event this afternoon.

In the video below, a group of children sing Maduro “Happy Birthday” and hold signs for him:


Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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