Colombian president Ivan Duque said in a radio interview that he expects to talk to his United States homologue about the ongoing Venezuelan crisis when Trump visits Bogota this November.

Duque was speaking in an interview on Colombia radio yesterday when he said:

I’m happy that [Trump] is coming to Colombia. I’m happy that this meeting will allow us to continue to strengthen our bilateral ties, things to do with investment and obviously there’s a regional theme… we cannot continue to see a migration crisis on the scale on which we are living it.

The president also said that the Venezuelan migrant influx was “very challenging” to the Colombian state, and that the entire region should work towards isolating the Maduro regime, which he said has

… ruined liberties [and] destroyed the economy.

At the same time, Duque made clear that a military intervention “was not the way” to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people.

Regional Countries Meet in Quito to Discuss Crisis

Duque’s comments come as 13 regional countries began series of meetings in Quito yesterday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis, which now involves as many as 2.5 million Venezuelans.

Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Andres Teran said during the meeting yesterday that the “unusual emigration” from Venezuela was precipitated by the “deep economic, political and institutional crisis” affecting the country, and that in effect had resulted in a regional humanitarian crisis.

Teran also explained that the point of the meeting was for the countries in attendance to discuss ideas to address the crisis jointly, an in particular the issues of migrant unemployment, exploitation, and xenophobia.

The meeting, which ended today, concluded with a joint declaration by the countries in attendance expressing a commitment to

… continue to welcome with open arms all of those who come [to our countries because of] a difficult situation in their country of origin.

The same declaration called on the Maduro regime to provide Venezuelans with proper documentation to ease their transit through the region, and on regional countries to accept expired Venezuelan documents as valid.

The declaration also calls for the “establishment of a regional program” with the aid of the United Nations to assist with the sharing of information on Venezuelan migration movements with the goal of “achieving orderly and secure migration”, and for a “coordination of efforts” through the Organization of American States to combat human trafficking and other types of exploitation against migrants.

The full declaration can be found here.

National Guard Deserter Shot While Selling Rifle

A National Guard deserter named Robersy Xavier Barrios Arjona was shot and killed on Sunday in Valles del Tuy, Miranda state while attempting to sell his AK-103 rifle. Barrios was 24 years old, and he deserted from the National Guard on August 19.

According to El Universal, Barrios was attempting to sell the rifle to a local gang when he was killed. Two suspects later told the authorities that they had agreed to pay Barrios $5,000 for the weapon.

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

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