The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today that since 2014, 1.5 million Venezuelans have fled the country. Of that number, 282,180 have asked for asylum, meaning that an important number live in precarious conditions as undocumented migrants.

The figures come from the UNHCR’s Global Trends report, which you can view here.

Some other figures from the report:

  • Venezuelans constituted the largest single increase by nationality in asylum claims in 2017.
  • Worldwide, Venezuelans are “the fourth-largest nationality of all new asylum claims in 2017”, when 111,600 were registered. That number is up from 34,200 in 2016, and 10,200 in 2015.
  • Most asylum claims were submitted to Peru (33,100), the United States (30,000), Brazil (17,900), Spain (10,600), Panama (4,400), Mexico (4,000), and Costa Rica (3,200).

The report also includes the following assessment of the experiences of Venezuelan migrants:

… the majority find themselves in irregular situations. Without access to a legal status, they are at a higher risk of violence, exploitation, sexual abuse, trafficking, and discrimination. While the responses of States were generous, host communities receiving Venezuelans were also under increasing strain as they sought to extend assistance and services to those arriving. UNHCR is working with governments and other partners across Latin America and the Caribbean to establish a coordinated and comprehensive response to the Venezuela situation. Assessments, profiling, and protection monitoring enabled better understanding of the humanitarian and international protection needs of Venezuelans exiting their country.

The report’s seventh chapter, titled “Other Groups or People of Concern”, contains a paragraph on Venezuelans. The report states:

In terms of country of origin, the largest increase during 2017 was due to the situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (345,600). There, the challenging security situation, the loss of income as a result of the current economic situation, and shortages of food and medicines compelled a large number of people to leave their country during the year.

Caracas Nurses Enter Fifth Day of Strike

Workers with the Caracas College of Nurses (CCN) entered the fifth day of a strike today, which involves nurses only attending to emergency cases and other life-or-death procedures in the capital’s hospitals.

The strike, which involves 25 healthcare facilities in Caracas and others in 20 states around the country, will continue indefinitely until the regime reacts to the healthcare crisis, said CCN president Ana Rosario Contreras.

Chief among the nurses’ complaints is their salary, which–like that of virtually every other Venezuelan–is hopelessly little.

In a press conference today, Contreras said that nurses received their monthly paycheque today: Bs. 1,555,0000 in base salary, and Bs. 1,200,000 in food subsidies for a total of Bs. 2,755,000.

For reference, a cup of coffee costs an average of Bs. 1,000,000 in Caracas as of yesterday.

On the meagre salaries that nurses receive, Contreras said:

Who can support a family [with this salary]?

Machado Responds to Assassination Plot Allegations

Vente Venezuela (VV) leader Maria Corina Machado reacted today to allegations made by the regime in recent weeks that she was involved in a plot to overthrow Maduro.

Machado held a press conference today in which she formally addressed the accusations. She posted a video of the press conference on YouTube, and then shared the video on her Twitter account along with the following caption:

This is my response to Nicolas Maduro.

I want you out of Miraflores [presidential palace] now, but I want you out alive.

And when you do leave power I will do everything in my power to keep you alive and make you face Justice [sic].

Machado is arguably the most outspoken critic of the Maduro regime among the leading opposition parties. Her VV party left the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) opposition bloc–the largest and most important in the country–back in August of last year, after Machado argued that the bloc was enabling the Maduro regime through its timidity and inaction.

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

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