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Damir Kaletovic

Damir Kaletovic

Writer, Safehaven.com

Damir Kaletovic is an award-winning investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and expert on Southeastern Europe whose work appears on behalf of Divergente Research.

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The Biggest Migration Crisis In Latin American History

Venezuela

Comparable only to the massive movement of Syrians into Western Europe in 2015, an estimated 4,000-5,000 Venezuelans are fleeing their country every day in the biggest migration crisis in Latin American history.

The United Nations projects 2 million Venezuelans will flee this year, in addition to the 1.8 million who have left over the past two years.

Venezuela has reached a breaking point over lower oil prices, corruption, bribes and economic mismanagement. Today, the country tops world lists for inflation, poverty and malnutrition.  

But neighboring countries are being overwhelmed, too.

“Venezuela’s unprecedented situation has turned a domestic human rights crisis into a regional human rights crisis. Countries in the region are not prepared to take in so many migrants and do not have the asylum systems needed to prevent job exploitation and human trafficking" – the Washington Post quoted Carolina Jimenez, a senior official with Amnesty International, as saying.

Neighboring countries have already taken steps to protect themselves from in-flow.

The government of Ecuador announced that it would turn away any Venezuelans not carrying passports from its border, while Brazil is sending armed forces to the crossing to maintain order, and Peru has declared an emergency in two provinces on its northern border, citing “imminent danger” to health and sanitation. Related: Why Litecoin's Founder Doesn't Hold The Coin

Migrations of Venezuelan's to Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina are increasing from day to day. Chile, with his strong economy is a great opportunity for migrants from Venezuela.

Last year, the number of Venezuelans in Chile grew by about 100,000, but Colombia is the most sought-after destination. Around 900,000 have moved there, according to the most recent figures—and a third of those have come this year alone.

It’s about to get worse with Maduro’s economic plan.

That plan includes new bank notes that have five fewer zeros than the old ones. But even so, the 500-bolívar note, is worth only $8.3 at the official exchange rate, according to the Financial Times.

This week, the Venezuelan authorities arrested 131 people accused of trying to sabotage economic reforms and to destabilize the economy.

The reforms are intended to put an end to the recession that’s been going on for four years and stop the hyperinflation. So far … not so good. The IMF sees inflation in Venezuela hitting one million percent this year.

And the ‘petro’—the cryptocurrency that was supposed to be the lifeline of the economy—is nowhere to be found in trading.

According to a Reuters investigation over four months, which included a visit to the site of pledged oil reserves and research into digital transaction records, the petro is languishing in crypto purgatory, with no sales on any notable crypto exchanges and no shops known to be accepting it. There isn’t even any indication that the oil that is supposed to provide the backing of the petro is even being produced.

So one might wonder how Maduro is even staying in power … but that brings us back to the hypermigration. Voices that oppose him are fleeing, too. At the end of the day, Maduro may get to stay in power, but he’ll be leading a ghost country.

By Damir Kaletovic for Safehaven.com

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