Thousands of Venezuelans have chosen the United States as a destination to start a new life, after fleeing their homeland due to the deplorable conditions to which they have been subjected by the communist Chavista regime, presided by Nicolás Maduro. More than 423,000 Venezuelans live in the USA, according to information from the Census Bureau in 2019. Everything seems to indicate that, since then, the numbers have increased significantly, although the most recent official figures have not yet been released. In January of this year there was talk that 13,500 Creoles would have entered illegally according to the NGO Hermanos de la Calle.
Florida, Texas and California are the states with the highest number of Venezuelans. According to official census information, in 2019 it was estimated that around 200,000 immigrants coming from the land of Simón Bolívar lived in Miami. This city has the largest number of people from Venezuela living in the country.
The Venezuela Awareness Foundation helps Venezuelan nationals through the Venezuelan Roots program. The director, Patricia Andrade, explained that there has been a significant increase in recent months in the number of immigrants entering from the Mexican border and moving to Miami, and that her organization is currently collapsed.
Andrade explained that "unlike what used to happen when people emigrated with visas, now immigrants are coming with very scarce resources, who do not even have a place to come to. We are seeing homeless Venezuelans who are people who thought one thing and when they arrived here they experienced what it is like to sleep on the street and go hungry".
The director of Venezuela Awareness Foundation said that the coyotes deceive Venezuelan immigrants, who "are told that when they get here they will have a house, they will have money and a work permit and a shelter; but all of that is a lie".
The crossing through the Darien jungle
"Venezuelans take the route by land, including the Darien crossing, which is extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, they are not informed of the dangers to which they are exposed," said Patricia Andrade. She explained that in the crossing, immigrants travel through 8 countries for about a month and a half before trying to enter the United States.
The Darien jungle is a territory located between Colombia and Panama, controlled by mafias of irregular groups that trade with the migratory flow. People from different continents and countries try to enter the United States from this lawless place. Cubans, Haitians and above all Venezuelans stand out in number at this moment, venturing to cross a road in which, according to multiple accounts from travelers, there are massive physical violations, murders, extortions and humiliations. Many lose their lives even swept away by the currents of the river there.
Rosmary González lost her 4-year-old son and 50-year-old husband while attempting to cross the Darién jungle. The precarious economic situation of this Venezuelan family from the State of Zulia led them to make the decision to undertake the journey that caused the fatal outcome. They survived on only $40 per month. Today only two of her children and herself are left. The case was reported by the Los Angeles Times.
"We walked for seven days with our feet knee-deep in mud. My son, the oldest, kept telling me, 'Mom, look at that body over there, look at that body over there,' and I said, 'No, no, I don't want to see anything'... When what happened to my husband and my baby happened, it hit me hard. I never thought that someone in my family would also die", said Rosmary, according to the testimony collected by the aforementioned newspaper.
Venezuelans living in the United States are engaged in various jobs, depending on the area, knowledge, preparation or trade in which they have been trained: retail trade, finance, insurance, real estate, transportation, construction, wholesale trade, technology, information, agriculture, administration, fishing, hunting and mining, among others. The current and moving migratory flow of Venezuelan citizens that is taking place in the USA, makes it very inaccurate at this moment to have a detailed and updated report of the labor performance of this new wave of Venezuelan immigrants.
El TPS para los venezolanos
A few days ago the Department of Homeland Security decided to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans. The Secretary of the agency, Alejandro Mayorkas, informed that the 18-month extension for Venezuela goes into effect on September 10 and extends until March 10, 2024.
Although the measure is a significant relief for that community "Only beneficiaries under the existing Venezuela designation, and who were already residing in the United States as of March 8, 2021, are eligible to re-register under this extension."
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that a total of 343,000 individuals are eligible for TPS under the existing designation.
Éxodo venezolano por la crisis
UNHCR reiterates that "people continue to leave Venezuela to flee violence, insecurity, threats, and lack of food". The organization also highlights on its website that more than 950,000 Venezuelans are asylum seekers in the world according to government figures.
Despite all this situation, it is striking that a small group of celebrities, including musicians and influencers, are visiting Venezuela. They say that "the country has been fixed", sending to the world the image of a nation parallel to the real suffering of those who live there and those who leave through irregular routes where death and danger are threatening them. Reality speaks for itself and exposes the propagandist lies of the regime.
The dictator Nicolás Maduro promises zero extreme poverty by 2025. But the situation in the country, which is growing with the passage of time, suggests that this promise is nothing more than a play on words. Last September, the UCAB reported that, according to the Encovi, more than 94% of Venezuelans live below the poverty line.
In the midst of the problems faced by the inhabitants of Venezuela, the United States represents one of the preferred destinations of that population, there are Venezuelans in all the states of the USA. The historical links and the recognition of the crisis by recent administrations have given a boost to Venezuelan emigrants desperately seeking a safe place to start a new life. Despite the flirtations that delegations from Joe Biden's administration have had with representatives of the Chavista government, both irregular and legal immigration could continue to increase.