An interesting view of Venezuelans in Colombia…
Back in the days of Cuban migration (1965-80), I used to hear how Cubans had brought so much to the US, from a great work ethic to strong family values.
I remember a person on TV saying that Cubans had turned Miami from a winter resort town into the dynamic economic capital of Latin America.
It appears that something like that is happening down on the Colombia-Venezuela border. According to Felipe Fernandez:
The migrants provide important consumption for the economy. Likewise, it is a workforce with diverse qualifications that comes to be inserted, either informally or formally, into the economy. That is, they come to contribute with work.
Refugee camp in Colombia (via Wikipedia)
This is fascinating, because I see something similar in North Texas, although the numbers are obviously different. Around here, we see Venezuelans living under asylum requests and waiting to hear from a judge. Nevertheless, they are serious people, working hard and learning English in schools.
Sadly, the Maduro regime and the crisis in the country, is driving out some of the very best talent in the country.
As the article points out:
She stressed that for a long time Venezuela was one of the countries with the most developed education in the region. This is how Venezuela became a regional hub for doctoral programs in the 1980s, while other countries in Latin America, including Colombia, only did so at the beginning of the 21st century.
My conversations with many of these Venezuelans confirms that they are well-educated and people with tremendous potential. They also tell me that they are hoping for a change in their country. They are very grateful to the US for opening a door but they would love to return to a free and prosperous Venezuela.
By the way, over 1.2 million have crossed the border into Colombia.