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Venezuela is the country with the third highest number of displaced people, surpassed only by Afghanistan and Syria

Crime, the humanitarian crisis and the dictatorship are the reasons why Venezuelans are increasingly emigrating from their country.

Venezuelan migrants walk along a highway in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, on February 2, 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. / AFP / Schneyder MENDOZA


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The migration crisis created by Venezuela's dictator Nicolas Maduro doesn’t show any signs of improving. Venezuela is the third most displaced country in the world, surpassed only by the war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Syria. This was revealed in a report published by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Data from this report shows that the number of Venezuelans displaced abroad increased in 2023 from 5.4 million to 6.1 million people, the vast majority in other Hispanic countries such as Colombia, which has taken in 2.9 million people. According to AFP calculations, this spike makes Venezuela the country with the third largest number of citizens displaced  abroad, behind Afghanistan and Syria and surpassing Ukraine.

"The sheer number of people forced to flee new or persistent conflicts around the world underscored the continuing importance of the right to seek asylum for millions of people globally. More than two out of every five new asylum applications were submitted by nationals of Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela," the agency's report explained.

Meanwhile, UNHCR's regional director for the Americas, José Samaniego, welcomed the strategy adopted in many countries "to address the root causes of displacement in countries of origin, to respond to the humanitarian and protection needs of people in transit, and to strengthen protection, inclusion and solutions in countries of destination and return."

The United States has suffered the consequences of the migration crisis provoked by Maduro. More Venezuelans emigrated to the United States in 2023 than any previous year. 

Venezuelan immigration to the United States has changed in recent years. A Pew Research study explained that Venezuelans are the fastest growing group of Hispanic origin in the United States. The analysis showed that between 2010 and 2021, the Venezuelan population increased 169% and grew from 240,000 to 640,000 citizens.

"This was by far the fastest growth rate among Hispanic origin groups. Dominicans and Guatemalans had the next-fastest growth rates at 60% each,” according to the report released this year.

Crime, the humanitarian crisis and dictatorship are the reasons why Venezuelans are increasingly emigrating from their country. A HumVenezuela report, accessed by Human Rights Watch, revealed that in March "most Venezuelans face difficulties in accessing food, with 10.9 million people undernourished or chronically hungry. Nearly 4.3 million must go without food, including going days without eating."

"Lack of access to basic services deepens the humanitarian crisis. Access to clean water and sanitation declined from 2021 to 2022, HumVenezuela reported, exposing about 4.4 million people to a pressing need for clean water and 1.3 million to an urgent need for basic sanitation," Human Rights Watch reported.