Venezuelan migrants in limbo cross Ecuador on foot in search of lifeline
admin • August 20, 2018 • 3379
Migrants on the side of highway | REUTERS
Venezuelans in limbo by Ecuador’s border are defying a clampdown on migrants, crossing the Andean country on foot to escape an economy in free fall and food shortages back home in Venezuela.
Over a million Venezuelan migrants have entered Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil in recent years. Many have done so without passports, unable to get one in a country suffering from the political and economic crisis.
Countries had allowed Venezuelans without passports to enter with national identification, until recently. Ecuador and Peru tightened restrictions this month, now allowing only Venezuelans with passports to cross the border.
But with thousands of Venezuelans en route to border regions, the measure has left many with no choice but to venture out on foot to avoid detection by immigration officials.
Aylin Aguilar, 26, is crossing Ecuador on foot as an undocumented migrant. She told Reuters that she had sought documents at the border but decided to walk after being told to return to Venezuela.
Dragging their suitcases behind them along kilometers of highway, these three young Venezuelans have their eyes set on Peru, one of the fastest growing economies in the region. But they are taking each day as it comes, unsure of how to cross the border into Peru.
But for these migrants, uncertainty ahead is better than what awaits them back home. Last month, the IMF announced Venezuela‘s inflation rate is likely to top 1,000,000 percent, putting it on track to become one of the worst hyperinflationary crises in modern history. — Reuters
Caracas – Venezuela’s president said Sunday that arrest warrants had been issued against those involved in an allegedly foiled extremist conspiratorial attack against his troops, which he accused opposition leaders and the United States of spearheading.
Nicolas Maduro spoke at the National Assembly and said the operation, which he claimed was uncovered Saturday and planned by leaders Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez as well as the US, was aimed at attacking military outposts countrywide and averted by his intelligence team.
“On Friday evening, judicial and prosecutorial orders were issued to capture those involved in this bloody conspiracy,” Maduro said as he took part in a ceremony at the assembly, comprised only of Chavez supporters, to commemorate the Venezuelan Constitution’s 20th anniversary.
“Leopoldo Lopez, a fascist, psychopathic monster, who in 20 years has been behind all coup attempts and violent acts. He carries violence in his blood. He is a mental patient of violence… and also a thief,” the leader said during the celebration.
The alleged conspiracy was announced by Jorge Rodriguez, Communications Minister, who reported security agencies had dismantled an extremist plan headed by Lopez, Guaido and the Colombian Government headed by Ivan Duque. Fearing arrest, Lopez has since May sought refuge at the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas.
According to Rodriguez, the operation’s participants intended to attack two military headquarters and carry out violent actions in six states.
Maduro said the alleged attacks were going to take place “in several cities in the country to cause a military and public bloodbath, as well as to shadow and shower Christmas and the festivities of the Venezuela’s people this 2019 in blood.”
He said that they managed to detect and stop the plan “thanks to civil, police and military cooperation.”
Maduro also said the foreign ministry received a Friday call from James Story, the Chargé d’Affaires for the Venezuela Affairs Unit at the US Virtual Embassy, whom Maduro accused of being the “conspiracy officer.”
According to the Venezuelan leader, Story called the vice-minister, Carlos Ron, during a confusing Friday incident involving substitute legislator Yanet Fermin, also accused by Rodriguez of being involved in the plot. He said several police officers appeared at her home but that she was finally not arrested. EFE-EPA
In an operation at the port of Callao on Monday (September 30), Peruvian authorities seized some 12.3 million seahorses that were illegally caught and allegedly destined to be sold abroad, according to local reports.
The seahorses, of the Hippocampus ingens species which is protected by Peruvian regulations, were dried out and possibly destined to be sold for medicinal purposes in China according to local media.
Four crew members of the ship carrying the illegal contraband were detained by Peruvian authorities and will face charges of up to three to five years according to local media.
The millions of seahorses were stored within the ship in 55 boxes that weighed in at over one ton. (REUTERS)
Venezuela wants peace instead of wars, said President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with the China Central Television (CCTV).
His remarks came amid escalating tensions at the Venezuela-Colombia border that started in February when Venezuela cut its diplomatic and political relations with Colombia.
He said he placed the nation’s army on an orange alert on Tuesday to safeguard domestic peace rather than wage war against other countries.
“I issued an orange alert to mobilize the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) for military drills from September 10 to 28, because we want neither armed conflicts, nor wars. We want peace, and any country that is eager for peace should prepare to defend itself,” the president said.
In response to the domestic political crisis, Maduro said the international community is making efforts to help the Venezuelan government resume dialogues with the opposition led by Juan Guaido, and the Venezuelan government is having extensive contacts with other oppositions in the meanwhile.
“We will continue our dialogue with all the options open for the dialogue,” he said.
When talking about the recent petition signature events organized by the Venezuelan people to oppose U.S. sanctions, Maduro said what the United States is doing is nothing but interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
He said that U.S. President Donald Trump covets resources in Venezuela and touts “Monroe Doctrine”, a 19th century strategy to rule Latin America for Washington’s political and economic purposes.
“The sanctions against Venezuela imposed by the Trump administration are totally unjustified. They’re interventionist policies seeking subversion. The United States is trying to control our country. Latin America belongs to Latin Americans, but Americans consider they’re the only Latin Americans, and all countries in South America, Central America and Latin America should serve their interests, business and power of the United States,” Maduro said. (REUTERS)
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