Speaking during a televised address today, Maduro used incorrect migration figures to accuse the government of Colombia of committing fraud by exaggerating the number of Venezuelans currently living in that country. According to Maduro, Colombia is doing this in order to “ask money” from the rest of the world.
Do you know how many bus rides [Colombia] needs to reach 4 million Venezuelans? 100,000.
An extensive search of Colombian news sources and statements by government officials did not find any reference to four million Venezuelans living in the neighbouring country.
Unwittingly or otherwise, Maduro appears to have been referencing the UNHCR estimate for how many Venezuelans lived outside of the country in June of this year, a figure which the organization placed at four million.
Colombian authorities have been consistent in their estimates of Venezuelan migrants living in the country. In October of this year, Colombia’s migration authority estimates that there were approximately 1.2 million Venezuelans in the country.
During the same address, Maduro also incorrectly attributed the “four million Venezuelans” estimate to a number of other countries in Latin America:
The Ecuadorian government goes out and says, “There are four million Venezuelans in Ecuador”. [The government of Peru] goes out and says that they also have four [million], and [the government of Chile] says “we have four [million] here also|. In other words, we’re all alone here in Venezuela. They’re being ridiculous!
In fact, at no point have the governments of Ecuador, Peru, Chile, nor those of any other country claimed that they had received four million Venezuelans.
The Maduro regime has consistently downplayed the scale of the Venezuelan exodus, in part due to the fact that to admit its scope would be to admit that the regime’s policies have failed so catastrophically that they have precipitated the phenomenon.
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