The Beat Goes On

 There is just no end to the Venezuela migrant crisis, at least not while there are still 28 million (or is it 27…or 26 million?) Venezuelans still suffering under the regime of Nicolas Maduro and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. Here are a few pieces to get you updated…Political Wire tells us that the New York Times reports the Biden administration to be considering a parole program for some Venezuelan migrants, a plan that the administration hopes will discourage Venezuelans from crossing the US southern border illegally. No further details…

 Then we have VOA with an update to the New York Times article. The Biden administration will accept up to 24,000 Venezuelans who arrive at airports, similar to the Ukraine migrant program. (FYI, Nicolas Maduro has killed more people than Vladimir Putin…just saying…) Venezuelans who illegally cross the US southern border will immediately returned to Mexico. (FYI, this was Trump’s policy that Biden discontinued. Maybe Biden can bring back more Trump policies that he discontinued?) Mexico has agreed to the new policy (New to Biden). A few quick numbers… In August 25,349 Venezuelans were stopped at the US southern border. This is up 43% from July and 4 times more than August, 2021. (A little historical perspective…just a few years ago, even though 4 million migrants had already fled the Maduro regime and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism, under 100 Venezuelan migrants were stopped at the US southern border. This is another Biden policy disaster.)

 Then we have DW reporting that according to Panama’s National Migration Service 151,582 migrants crossed the Darien Gap (one of the most dangerous migrant crossings in the world) from January to September, most of them Venezuelan. Last year the numbers exploded to about 133,000 up from just a trickle a few years ago. OK, so we have this years numbers already over 18,000 higher than last year with still three months to go and up from a number than had exploded from previously almost nothing. This tells us two things. One is that everyone knows, and has known since Biden took office, the US southern border is open…WIDE OPEN! The other thing it tells us is that Venezuelans must be really desperate to escape the Maduro regime if so many are willing to risk one of the most dangerous migrant crossings in the world.

 And we have Nasdaq reporting that IOM (International Organization for Migration ) tells us that the Colombian Human Rights Ombudsman says thousands of migrants, most of them Venezuelan, are stuck in the Colombia village of Necoli, waiting for boats to take them across the Gulf of Uraba so they can head north through Central America. The backlog is currently about 9,000.

 Then we have Reuters reporting that IOM released a statement saying about 4.3 million Venezuelan migrants face difficulty accessing basic services, food, decent housing, and formal (legal) employment. They report the number of Venezuelan migrants is now 7.1 million. (the last number we saw was 6.81 million last month) As we’ve said many times and will continue to do so, the amount spent on Ukrainian  migrants for humanitarian aid is five times that spent on Venezuelan migrants and ten times more is spent on Syrian migrants than Venezuelan migrants. Why is that?

 OK, that’s our daily dose of migrant madness. Needless to say, the beat goes on…. Now we have a piece from Caracas Chronicles with the headline : ” In Venezuela, Lack of Environmental Planning Is More Deadly Than Climate Change”. We don’t know if it’s raining more in Venezuela or not because the government is inefficient at collecting enough data. What’s evident, experts say, is the State ignores lessons from past catastrophes.

 UCV (Venezuela Central University) professor and hydrometeorological (spell check says that’s not a word) engineer, Juan Arevalo, says “We have no evidence that these precipitations are due to climate change.” referring to the recent heavy rains that caused landslides and wiped out the town of Las Tejerias. “The real problem lies in vulnerability.” He cited various instances of infrastructure failures and where the government has ignored warnings like the flooding of over 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) in the Catatumbo municipality  in April, three months after the government was informed a dike on the Zulia river was in danger of a breach.

 Construction along rivers has been regulated in Venezuela since 1930 but the increasingly greater mandatory distance from riverbeds is ignored. Juan de Viana, civil engineer and former director of hydraulic resources at the Ministry of the Environment, says there are measurement networks that can help provide warnings of potential disasters such as landslides and flooding but a large part of the measurement network has been eliminated. In 2019 the Maduro regime announced it would install 355 new hydro- meteorological stations in Venezuela and an expansion of the station network was announced in May, 2022. The status of these extensions is unknown.

 Alfredo Gil, also with UCV, says mining exploitation (Maduro’s “Mining Arc) are creating “human use” problems such as deforestation and environmental degradation. “We’re seeing flooding in areas where we’ve never seen them before… It’s necessary for the State to enforce the ordinances and laws that govern hydro- climatological risk….The informal populations in the  riverbeds such as Las Tejerias should simply have been removed years ago…We have lost the orientation of the technological guidelines that should be present in a development plan. So far I haven’t seen a coherent, intelligent policy that allows us to learn from previous events.”

 And we have Sky News reporting that the death toll from the landslides in Las Tejerias has risen to 36 (likely to continue to rise as the search for those missing continues). They also noted that the excessive rains and landslides  swept away the pumps used to power the community’s water system.

 Then we have Reuters telling us that a tweet from Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s office said Maduro is not ruling out pulling forward the country’s 2024 presidential election. Maduro said during a PSUV (Chavista) event that the party is always ready for an election. “The truth is that we are prepared to achieve a big victory when elections come.” Kinda’ sounds like somebody angling for sanctions relief perhaps? I’m sure he feels very confident he can win a free and fair election with his 5% approval rating.

 That will do it for the week. We’ll be back Monday to start another chapter of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole and to catch up on more news from the disaster that is Venezuela under 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. Until then… Have a great weekend everybody!!!



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