Venezuelan refugee crisis now spilling into Mexico
For years, it's been assumed that despite its depredations, Venezuela was a sovereign state and its leaders elected democratically. The worst that was ever said was that Venezuela's leader (at the time, Hugo Chavez) "was elected democratically but does not govern democratically," as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and later President Obama each said. As for Venezuela's neighbors, most never even said that much, they just went along with whatever Chavez dished out, not wanting Chavez to stir up revolution in their own countries in retaliation.
Well, now it's coming back to bite.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Venezuela's deepening political and economic crisis has provoked a surge of asylum seekers to Mexico this year, government figures show, with applications to stay in Mexico setting a record pace.
During just the first six months of this year, 1,420 Venezuelans have sought asylum in Mexico, a nearly four-fold jump compared to the 361 total Venezuelan asylum applicants for all of 2016.
No Venezuelans applied for asylum in Mexico in 2014 or 2015.
"It's not normal for so many Venezuelans to come here," Socorro Flores, Mexico deputy foreign minister for Latin America and the Caribbean, told Reuters in an interview.
Venezuela is in a crisis now, chiefly fueled by that curse of all socialism, what Lady Thatcher described as "running out of other people's money."
Refugees are pouring out of that country at a furious pace, in their millions, with some ten percent of the country's 28 million people already out. Venezuela is the number one country for asylum claims in the U.S. now, and a very high number of refugees.
The first waves. of educated people, are over, now it's the poor who are running. And it's those very poor who make up the human waves that are now the logical consequence of the Venezuelan socialist experiment. Most nations were content with this scenario, certain that the U.S. would pick up the pieces, what with its look-the-other-way illegal immigration policy, and Colombia, with its geographic proximity.
Turns out it's a lot more nations than just those. Brazil has reported its borderlands flooded with Venezuelan refugees and Peru has seen a stark rise in refugee claims. Central America, particularly Panama, sees many asylum claims, too, But now it seems the refugee wave has spread to Mexico.
Yes, some may be headed to the U.S. But because it is a real refugee crisis, and not one of these events cooked up by asylum NGOs as seen in Europe, it's a reality that the refugees will run any place that will take them. Mexico is now being flooded. You can bet most other nations in the vicinity are, too.
This is the wages of ignoring a blatantly growing dictatorship as none of one's business and assuming any refugees that come of it will be some other country's problem. Mexico will just have to deal with the consequences of its own unwillingnes to look at the hellhole in its midst.