The Regional Response to the Venezuelan Exodus



The international attention given to the Venezuelan crisis lags far behind in terms of both media coverage and financial support. Although most countries in the region have recently adopted legislative frameworks that would allow for the recognition of Venezuelans as refugees, they have largely opted to respond to the in flux with special visa schemes that provide varying degrees of protection. Still, by international standards countries across Latin America have been generous in their reception of Venezuelans. Despite the increasing numbers, most are upholding open-door policies. Initially, foreign policy drove these generous responses. But the rise of xenophobic sentiment across the region has increasingly turned the Venezuelan exodus into a domestic policy issue—one that requires regional cooperation. The decisions of venezuelans to emigrate typically resulted from factors including growing insecurity, political tensions, nationalization of various industries, and social polarization following a failed coup attempt in 2002.

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