What's Happening in Venezuela?

You might not have known, but there’s a huge migration crisis happening in Venezuela right now. Thousands of people are crossing the border into Colombia everyday to escape rising inflation rates, hunger, and poverty. These people are crossing into Colombia through the Simón Bolívar International Bridge in Cúcuta, Venezuela, which is a border town in between Venezuela and Colombia. People can’t even afford to buy a box of cereal because it can cost up to a month’s salary. Inflation has risen so high that women have resorted to chopping off their own hair and selling it to be able to afford to cross the border into Colombia. People are literally packing up their lives into suitcases and heading for the border because they have no other option.

Source: Daily Express

Inflation has risen to such an extreme in Venezuela that their currency, the bolivar, is completely worthless, so people have started collecting this currency and making commodities out of it, such as purses and other works of art. The crisis in Venezuela is being named as one of the largest humanitarian crises within the last two centuries due to the poor economic decisions made by the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro. Parents do not have access to medicine and vaccines for their sick children. So far around 2 million people have fled Venezuela and about half have migrated to Colombia. The others have attempted to migrate to other South and Central American countries, as well as the U.S. and Mexico, but haven’t had much luck due to increased border restrictions.

Source: We Heart It

There’s a reason why Colombia has been so generous to Venezuelans crossing the border into their country, but it requires a bit of a history lesson to understand. Before Colombia and Venezuela separated into two countries, they were part of the same country in the 1800s called Gran Colombia. Later on, during the 1980s and 90s, Colombia was involved in a debilitating domestic war caused by a rebel group called the Farc. This domestic conflict displaced more than 7 million of its own people, and who came to their rescue? You guessed it, Venezuela. Thousands of Colombians fled to Venezuela, whose economy at the time was thriving and the people were more than willing to accept them. Unfortunately, this mutual trust between the countries is starting to decay. Some of the Venezuelan migrants have started to commit crimes in Colombia, which is causing civil unrest. Although these crimes are happening, many Colombian people are still accepting Venezuelan families with open arms and hearts.

Source: All For Venezuela

If you’d like to take part in helping migrants and refugees from Venezuela, All for Venezuela is an organization located in Miami, Florida that partners with both individual donors as well as non-profits to gather donations such as food, medicine, baby supplies, clinical supplies, hygiene products, and monetary donations. Also, a huge shoutout to Vox for inspiring this article!

¡Colombia y Venezuela unidos por siempre!