Both Colombia and Brazil are forced to tighten their border controls in response to Venezuela’s spiraling economic crisis as an exodus of desperate migrants trying to find food, medicine and resources crosses over into their areas.
The Brazilian government will be sending more troops to patrol frontier regions as well as building temporary housing for the thousands of Venezuelan refugees that have overwhelmed its social services in frontier areas, to towns and cities in Brazil’s interior.
Brazil’s defense minister, Raul Jungmann, admitted that: “This is a humanitarian drama. The Venezuelans are being expelled from their country by hunger and the lack of jobs and medicine.”
“We are here to bring help and to strengthen the border.”
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Meanwhile Colombian president Mr Juan Manuel Santos said his government would make it more difficult for Venezuelans to cross the frontier illegally or remain in the country as undocumented migrants.
Just as Brazil, he has also sent some 3,000 additional security personnel to border regions.
President Santos said: “Colombia has never before experienced a situation like this,”
“I want to repeat to President Maduro: this is the result of your policies. It is not the fault of Colombians and it’s the result of your refusal to receive humanitarian aid, which has been offered, not just from Colombia but from the international community.”
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had travelled to Colombia earlied this week to discuss the Venezuela migrant crisis with President Santos.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">President <a href="https://twitter.com/JuanManSantos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@juanmansantos</a> and FM Holguín of <a href="https://twitter.com/CancilleriaCol?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CancilleriaCol</a> welcomed Secretary Tillerson to Bogotá yesterday to discuss the US-<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colombia?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Colombia</a> partnership to address the surge in coca cultivation and cocaine production, the peace accord and the growing number of migrants from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Venezuela?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Venezuela</a> <a href="https://t.co/8fvE4wuk7L">pic.twitter.com/8fvE4wuk7L</a></p>— Department of State (@StateDept) <a href="https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/961226232397365248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 7, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Meanwhile Ms Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s authoritarian president, claims to perceive that all is fine in his country while his socialist policies have provoked food shortages, hyperinflation, and a collapse of the currency.