The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced today that the amount of money needed to adequately meet the needs of the Venezuelan exodus is approximately $1.35 billion, according to a report published by Spain’s EFE.

The figure came from Eduardo Stein, the UNHCR’s special representative for Venezuelan refugees.

The Venezuelan exodus now features among the largest population displacements on the planet, rivaling that of Syria. According to ACNUR, there are approximately 4.5 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants across the world, a large portion of whom left the country after Maduro came to power in 2013.

US: Drug Trafficking from Venezuela “Up 50%”

Admiral Craig S. Faller, head of the U.S. Southern Command, said at an event today that drug trafficking from Venezuela has increased by 50%r and accused the Maduro regime from profiting from the activity.

He did not provide a timeline for the increase.

Faller said:

Maduro’s regime has facilitated narcotrafficking… There’s over a 50 percent increase of narcotrafficking in and through Venezuela, and Maduro and his cronies are lining their pockets, in cahoots with the illicit narcotrafficking.

Faller also spoke on the strain that the Venezuelan exodus is placing on countries in the region, given the overwhelming amount of people who are streaming out of the country, saying:

I visited the Comfort three times and saw firsthand the stress that the Venezuela crisis — now close to 5 million migrants — has placed on all the systems, all the governments, all the legitimate democracies in the region…

Country Gearing Up for November 16 Protest

Venezuelans are gearing up for the November 16 protest, which opposition leader Juan Guaido has been calling for since October, and during which he hopes Venezuela will “wake up” and mount a final challenge to the Maduro regime.

Today, the opposition revealed the rally points and final destination of the protest in Caracas. The opposition is calling for residents of the capital to meet starting at 10:00 AM at five different points spread across the city, and then march from there to the Plaza Jose Marti.

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