The comments of the president of Venezuela on the caravan of Honduran migrants ignored the immigration problem of his country
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has called on US President Donald Trump to allow the entrance to his country (US) to the thousands of Honduran migrants who have been stuck in the Mexican city of Tapachula since October 19.
Leer en español: ¿Hipocresía? Maduro muestra solidaridad a los migrantes hondureños
On Sunday, October 21, Maduro said through the Venezuelan Television Network (VTV) that he sees "with pain" the situation of the almost 5000 migrants who try to arrive by caravans to Mexico or the United States, to ask for asylum and look for better opportunities that their country offers.
Nevertheless, several sectors point out the hypocrisy that Maduro's solidarity means when the situation of Venezuelan migration is considered. Since 2014, around 2.3 million Venezuelan citizens have emigrated to neighboring countries, with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil receiving the most immigrants since then, according to El País.
Maduro himself has acknowledged that many of his compatriots "fell into begging" and have faced outbreaks of xenophobia in these countries. But the president is unable to recognize the seriousness of the situation of Venezuelan immigration.
Last September, the Venezuelan government accused the United Nations of exaggerating the figures of migrants and established them around 600 thousand people since 2016. In addition to that, Maduro has insisted that figures such as those of the UN respond to attempts to establish "a humanitarian crisis "that allow justifying" an intervention "in Venezuela.
Combined with this, the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, said publicly that the caravan of Honduran migrants was organized by leftist groups financed by Venezuela.
Here is one thing clear: both the US government and the government in Venezuela instrumentalize the catastrophes that migrants have to live, fleeing from poverty, the economic crisis, and the violence. This instrumentalization is given in order to support the discourses of both sides against both socialism and capitalism.
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Proof of such phenomenon is that in the same intervention of Maduro in VTV, the president blamed the nature of the capitalist hegemonic economic system for migrations like these. "Whose fault is it, capitalism!" he said. In turn, Pence said that by financing the caravan, Venezuela is challenging "American sovereignty and borders".
While the countries continue with this discourse, there are still thousands of Hondurans on the Mexican border with a desire for refuge. Just as there are millions of Venezuelans looking for opportunities in the neighboring countries. This is not about highlighting how Trump, Pence or Maduro cannot recognize how their governments contribute to immigration.
The real problem is how there is widespread disdain for migrants and how governments strive to hinder the arrival of migrants to their countries. It happened with the Venezuelans when in Peru and Ecuador they were asked for a passport when Venezuela no longer issues them. The same thing happened when Mexico and the United States ask that Honduran migrants arrive by "legal means" to their countries.
The legality or illegality of the arrival of a migrant cannot modify what is basically the problem, that these people flee from terrible social conditions in their countries. Legality is an obstacle disguised as bureaucratic requirements and in the end, they do not shield countries from irregular flows of migrants, as they will try to enter anyway. They could be injured, killed or divided by immigration authorities.
In the contemporary context, we need new ways of understanding migration, not just as a human right or a behavior as old as our species. It is also necessary to understand it from the public policies of the governments that receive these people who seek refuge.
LatinAmerican Post | Iván Parada Hernández
Translated from "¿Hipocresía? Maduro muestra solidaridad a los migrantes hondureños"
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