Venezuelan migrants in limbo cross Ecuador on foot in search of lifeline

admin   •   August 20, 2018   •   3539

Migrants on the side of highway | REUTERS

Venezuelans in limbo by Ecuador’s border are defying a clampdown on migrants, crossing the Andean country on foot to escape an economy in free fall and food shortages back home in Venezuela.

Over a million Venezuelan migrants have entered Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil in recent years. Many have done so without passports, unable to get one in a country suffering from the political and economic crisis.

Countries had allowed Venezuelans without passports to enter with national identification, until recently. Ecuador and Peru tightened restrictions this month, now allowing only Venezuelans with passports to cross the border.

But with thousands of Venezuelans en route to border regions, the measure has left many with no choice but to venture out on foot to avoid detection by immigration officials.

Aylin Aguilar, 26, is crossing Ecuador on foot as an undocumented migrant. She told Reuters that she had sought documents at the border but decided to walk after being told to return to Venezuela.

Dragging their suitcases behind them along kilometers of highway, these three young Venezuelans have their eyes set on Peru, one of the fastest growing economies in the region. But they are taking each day as it comes, unsure of how to cross the border into Peru.

But for these migrants, uncertainty ahead is better than what awaits them back home. Last month, the IMF announced Venezuela‘s inflation rate is likely to top 1,000,000 percent, putting it on track to become one of the worst hyperinflationary crises in modern history. — Reuters

Venezuela’s Maduro orders EU envoy to leave the country

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday (June 29) ordered the European Union envoy to leave the country, hours after the EU announced sanctions against several officials loyal to the socialist leader.

The EU subjected 11 officials to financial sanctions, citing their actions against the democratic functioning of Venezuela’s National Assembly.

The European bloc earlier this month said a decision by the South American nation’s Supreme Court in May to ratify an ally of Maduro as president of the National Assembly was illegitimate. Opposition leader Juan Guaido was the rightful congressional president following his election by the majority of members in January, not the court-approved Luis Parra, the EU said.

Parra was among those named in Monday’s sanctions, along with Franklyn Duarte and Jose Gregorio Noriega, who were named as vice-presidents of the assembly in the May court ruling.

Maduro gave the EU envoy, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, 72 hours to leave the country after the sanctions were announced.

“A plane can be loaned to her to leave,” he said during an appearance on Venezuelan state TV.

Maduro also said his government was reserving diplomatic action in the case against the Spanish ambassador in Caracas, Jesus Silva, whom he said was “an accomplice of the criminal and terrorist Leopoldo Lopez, as published in the Wall Street Journal, for the plan to assassinate me, to assassinate the country’s top military and political leader.”

Last week, the U.S. newspaper published a report citing sources close to the opposition leader Lopez, indicating that he had come into contact with several security firms for an armed action in Venezuela. (Reuters)

(Production: Efrain Otero, Liamar Ramos)

Ecuador installs temporary morgues as coronavirus deaths mount

UNTV News   •   April 2, 2020

As the death toll from victims of the coronavirus mounts, Ecuador is struggling to deal with various aspects of the health emergency, including where to put the deceased.

On Wednesday (April 01) Ecuador reported 450 new cases of the coronavirus bringing its total to 2,758 people of which 98 have died. Another 76 deaths are under investigation as possibly related to COVID-19.

The deaths have put a strain on hospitals as well as on morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries. To deal with the increased number of deaths, temporary morgues were installed outside a hospital in Guayaquil Wednesday.

Jorge Wated, the government official appointed by the president to deal with the disposal of the dead during the coronavirus crisis, said that 2,500 to 3,500 were expected to die from COVID-19 in the province of Guayas alone, where Guayaquil, the nation’s second-largest city is located. (Reuters)

(Production: Cristina Munoz)

Fire destroys most voting machines in Venezuela’s main elections warehouse

UNTV News   •   March 9, 2020

Venezuela’s elections council said on Sunday (March 8) that a fire over the weekend destroyed most of the voting machines stored in its main warehouse in the capital, Caracas, potentially complicating parliamentary elections scheduled for this year.

Nearly 50,000 voting machines and almost 600 computers went up in flames as a result of the fire that broke out on Saturday (March 7), said elections council chief Tibisay Lucena.

She did not elaborate on how many voting machines were still available for use, or how the incident would affect future elections. Lucena said she had asked state prosecutors to look into the cause of the blaze, which did not cause any injuries.

The South American country’s elections have come under heavy criticism since President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was widely dismissed as rigged in his favour, leading dozens of governments around the world to disavow his government in 2019.t.

Venezuela holds elections this year for parliament, which is currently controlled by the opposition. Maduro’s adversaries are demanding that the country instead hold a new presidential election, and have not yet said whether they will participate in the legislative election. A date for that vote has not been set. (REUTERS / VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT TV)

(Production: Efrain Otero, Johnny Carvajal, Paul Vieira)

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