More than 150,000 Venezuelans left so far in 2016, many fleeing in boats0

Posted on November 26, 2016 • Filed under: Conflicts, Human Rights Latin America, Social Issues, Venezuela

nytimes.com/ NICHOLAS CASEY wrote: Well over 150,000 Venezuelans have fled the country in the last year alone, the highest in more than a decade, according to scholars studying the exodus.

“We have seen a great acceleration,” said Tomás Páez, a professor who studies immigration at the Central University of Venezuela. He says that as many as 200,000 Venezuelans have left in the past 18 months, driven by how much harder it is to get food, work and medicine — not to mention the crime that such scarcities have fueled.

Desperate Venezuelans are streaming across the Amazon Basin by the tens of thousands to reach Brazil. They are concocting elaborate scams to sneak through airports in Caribbean nations that once accepted them freely. When Venezuela opened its border with Colombia for just two days in July, 120,000 people poured across, simply to buy food, officials said. An untold number stayed.

But perhaps most startling are the Venezuelans now fleeing by sea, an image so symbolic of the perilous journeys to escape Cuba or Haiti — but not oil-rich Venezuela. Read Article

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