View Full Version : Meanwhile in Venezuela, a new diaspora begins

11-27-2016, 01:40 PM
When news of Fidel Castro’s death broke around the globe, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was quick to chime in with condolences over the passing of his friend, extending “solidarity and love.”

Acabo de hablar con el Presidente RaúlCastro para transmitir la Solidaridad y Amor al PueblodeCuba ante la partida del ComandanteFidelCastro

— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) November 26, 2016

I have just spoken with the President Raúl Castro to convey solidarity and love to the Pueblo de Cuba following the departure of the Comandante Fidel Castro

It’s rather amazing that Maduro had any time to mourn the passing of his friend. After all, one might imagine that the government of Venezuela would be rather busy at the moment, what with a new diaspora taking place before their eyes. Yes, as the New York Times describes in a lengthy report this week, hundreds of thousands of starving Venezuelans have fled on foot, on bicycles, in rafts and small boats, seeking someplace where they don’t necessarily want to find freedom, but just some food.

Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s richest countries, flush with oil wealth that attracted immigrants from places as varied as Europe and the Middle East.

But after President Hugo Chávez vowed to break the country’s economic elite and redistribute wealth to the poor, the rich and middle class fled to more welcoming countries in droves, creating what demographers describe as Venezuela’s first diaspora.

Now a second diaspora is underway — much less wealthy and not nearly as welcome.

Well over 150,000 Venezuelans have fled the country in the last year alone, the highest in more than a decade, according to scholars studying the exodus