Reality of the Venezuelan Crisis

By Kevin Lin

Leaving one’s home country to support a starving family is not an uncommon story. Protests are happening every day in which Venezuelans are throwing canisters of feces at government officials or burning government property. This is due to the fact that President Maduro is refusing aid from countries around the world. 

Venezuela was not always in turmoil. However, with the drop in oil prices and Venezuela’s reliance on its oil companies, the economy has ultimately collapsed on them. This leads Venezuelans with three options of riding out the economic crisis. Citizens appeal to the government for aid, or leave the country and be branded as a traitor. 

What is the Cost?

Many take the risk of being branded as traitors in order to finance a family living in poverty. According to the Los Angeles Times, 3.9 million people have fled to seek asylum in neighboring countries. This poses problems to neighboring countries that have to deal with the massive amounts of immigrants.

The Island of Crete has gained 40,000 Venezuelan immigrants according to BBC news. One of the issues is the job limitations for all inhabitants. This falls under the economic strain for those harboring immigrants.

The Human Rights Watch organization has reported that around 200 immigrants are leaving on foot every day from the country. With so many immigrants on the move, the immigrants leave themselves open to danger. The Human Rights Watch reports “Hundreds and thousands of Venezuelans remain in an irregular situation … vulnerable to labor and sexual exploitation.”

In reports from CNN, there has been a steady increase since 2016 in the number of asylum seekers in the US. What should society’s response be to the increase in immigration throughout various countries? There are many ways in which even the individual in society can help address the issues that are plaguing Venezuela. There are various components that need to be addressed when handling the immigration crisis.

What Needs to be done?

To gain public support can be a massive step to solving this crisis of dealing with the number of immigrants. Some methods of gaining support could range from raising awareness online or by letting family and friends understand the situation. Once the support gains a motive for supporting asylum seekers, giving information on methods of how to support those immigrants can be the next step in solving the problem.

This methodology does work as the US government has made numerous responses to the Venezuelan government. According to the article from The Hill “How America and Colombia can tackle Venezuela crisis together,” by Michael O’Hanlon and Juan Carlos Pinzon, the US is trying to establish a humanitarian sanctuary. In addition, the Colombian government help send soldiers to protect those seeking asylum.

Unfortunately only so much can be done when dealing with Venezuelan’s government, a government that has refused to aid its own people with humanitarian aid; one can only help those who have fled the country of Venezuela. To many who have to live in the United States, this may seem outlandish or hard to relate to. In reality, there are many things to consider when looking at Venezuela’s situation. 

For one thing, is it possible for the US to follow under similar circumstances such as during the era of the Great Depression? Certainly, but one must consider that when there were many immigrating within the US, there were many who came to their aid, should the US do the same for Venezuela. For the individual in the US, perhaps this is a time society should help out a neighboring country, for the future holds many possibilities, including possibilities that do not bode well for the US. 

Photo from Wiki files