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Mass Migration Is Here to Stay — We Must Deal with It Humanely

By: Carlos Sabino - @Sabino2324 - Aug 9, 2016, 11:39 am

Venezuelans crossing the border to Colombia were met with mixed reaction by residents. (MigraciónCol)

EspañolOf the 150,000 Venezuelans who recently crossed the border to Colombia, there are at least 25,000 citizens hoping to stay and start life over anew.

Their decision is understandable: the shortage of goods in Venezuela, which led them to cross the border in the first place, is not a sustainable way to live.

Additionally, Venezuela’s inflation has reached exorbitant figures, its entire production apparatus now in ruins.

Businesses on the Colombian border received this flurry of new buyers with open arms. But many other Colombians have already begun to worry. It’s a burden to introduce tens of thousands of new people into an already functioning society. And if Colombia officially opens its doors to Venezuelans, the number will increase to hundreds of thousands — if not millions.

Cuba’s socialist dictatorship is causing similar situations in other parts of Latin America. The Castro brothers’ reforms on the island have been unable to improve the poor quality of life on the island.

The Venezuelan government can no longer financially support Cuba’s unviable socialist model, and so islanders fear their lives will become even more miserable. Can anyone blame them for wanting to leave?

Currently, thousands of Cubans are stranded in Costa Rica and in Panama, and many governments are afraid to let them continue their journey to the United States.

The US has always had issues with immigration: its strict laws have left million of immigrants undocumented, many of whom have worked and lived in the country for many years. In part, this is to protect against terrorists and drug traffickers.

This makes the topic complicated. People have the right to leave their country in search of new horizons, but all the nations of the world also have the right to defend themselves by choosing who enters and doesn’t.

There is no easy solution to this thorny problem. Latin America’s governments have showed tolerance — and even support — to the dictatorships of Chávez or Castro, but that has in turn fueled Venezuelans’ and Cubans’ wishes to flee the terrible living conditions produced by them. Supporting dictatorial regimes in the region, and then complaining that people want to escape them, is an incongruity, to say the least.

Carlos Sabino Carlos Sabino

Sociologist, writer, and university professor, Sabino is director of the masters and doctoral programs in history at the University of Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala. Follow him @Sabino2324

FARC to Live in Special Areas Across Colombia Follow Disarmament

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Aug 9, 2016, 11:01 am
FARC members will be concentrated in 23 areas (YouTube)

EspañolA charter flight took off from Havana, Cuba to Bogotá, Colombia this Monday, August 8, carrying 17 FARC guerillas who had taken part in the negotiations with the government. Read more: Most Colombians Reject Santos-FARC Peace Deal, Survey Finds Read more: Colombia Debates Shortcut Into Congress for FARC Leaders They were on their way to visit, along with Colombian government officials and Norwegian arbiters, concentrated locations in which demobilized FARC members may live after the peace talks. Additionally, United Nations officials reportedly negotiated overseeing the removal of weapons by FARC. The tours began in Villavicencio, where the guerrillas will meet the High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo and Head of the Verification Mission of the United Nations Javier Perez Aquino. FARC members are reportedly expected to visit the 23 rural areas and eight special camps where they would relocate its members once demobilization and weapons delivery is made. President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos announced the visit to rural areas is important because FARC must understand the conditions by which they agree to lay down their arms and rejoin civilian life. "The protocol for handling rural areas areas is very important news," he said. "It sets the rules for the FARC to lay down their arms." The president said the delegates will be meeting for four or five days in a village where there would be a concentration of FARC members until it can be determined how much territory will be necessary for the FARC members. // Chief Negotiator for the guerrillas Iván Marquez said the areas will be accessible to all who want to visit, regardless of their status as journalists civilian, military and so on. "The functioning of civil authorities and free access of any citizen and media is guaranteed, without limitation, with the exception of the camps where the bulk of the armed guerrilla units are," he said. The concentration areas are located all around the country, which has generated concern about the presence of FARC in autonomous areas throughout Colombia, and which could pose a security problem." Sources: W Radio, Blu Radio, RCN Radio

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