The Maduro government has updated its prices for new passports and for the extension of expired passports, placing the document even further out of reach for ordinary Venezuelans.
According to a new price schedule shared today by the Servicio Administrativo de Identificación, Migración y Extranjería (Administrative Office for Identification, Migration and Foreign Services, SAIME), applying for a new passport now costs Bs. 5,890,270, approximately $185 at the black market exchange rate. Extensions for soon-to-expire passports cost Bs. 2,945,486, or about $93.
Venezuelans earning the minimum monthly salary currently take home Bs. 150,000. In other words, a worker earning the minimum monthly salary would have to save 100% of their monthly earnings for just over 3 years to be able to afford a new passport.
Having a passport is a matter of vital importance to many Venezuelans, given the scope of the country’s socio-economic collapse since 2013. That collapse has engendered one of the largest migrations anywhere on the planet, as approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans now live outside of the country, with many of them having left in just the last five years.
Many countries in Latin America do not require passports for cross-border travel, granting Venezuelans with fewer economic means the ability to leave the country with other pieces of government-issued identification, like their national I.D. card. However, some countries have begun to mount barriers to entry for Venezuelan migrants in the form of passport requirements, as is the case with a measure taken by Peru this summer.
NGO: 402 Political Prisoners in Regime Jails
The Foro Penal Venezolano (Venezuelan Penal Forum, PFV) released its regular update today on the number of political prisoners in regime jails, placing the number at 402.
The update came from Gonzalo Himiob, the vice president of the PFV, in the tweet below:
#19Nov Today, we at the [FPV] counted 402 #PoliticalPrisoners in #Venezuela. Moreover, 8955 people are currently subject to injunctions, which are also political.
Himiob’s tweet included an image that provides a breakdown for the demographics of political prisoners. They are:
- 382 male, 20 female
- 290 civilians, 112 military staff
- 402 adults, 0 children
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