Regional states discussed migration crisis amid mass protests in Venezuela
12 abril 2019

Delegations from fourteen countries in the region met April 8-9 in Quito, Ecuador, to discuss measures to address the Venezuelan immigration crisis affecting Latin American countries, principally Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Venezuela saw fresh demonstrations April 10 that marked the start of “Operation Freedom”, an initiative headed by self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó that seeks to oust Nicolás Maduro, install a transitional government and hold free elections.

The issues analyzed at the Ecuador meeting related to the design of joint strategies to better take in and cater for the thousands of Venezuelans currently fleeing over to neighboring countries. Along with the several governments represented in the meetings, including Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, also the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the

World Bank (WB), the UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and officials from the Andean Community also attended, among others.

Juan Guaidó’ followers marched April 10 to support the start of “Operation Liberty”, through which Guaidó aims to remove Nicolás Maduro from power. “The biggest escalation of pressure we have seen in our history begins”, Guaidó proclaimed before crowds of supporters in the capital Caracas.

Moreover, thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets last weekend in support of Nicolás Maduro, who says he is prepared to reconsider the offer of dialogue with the opposition that has been suggested in recent weeks by Mexico and Uruguay. “Venezuela asks for support and accompaniment for a successful peace dialogue,” said the President. However, Guaidó has dismissed the move seeing it as a means for Maduro to perpetuate his hold on power.

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