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A Call to Action on Venezuela

Protesters in Venezuela. (AP)

January 27, 2020

There is a failed state at the heart of our hemisphere. Once the richest and most stable democracy in Latin America, Venezuela’s democracy, economy and society have collapsed in recent years, in that order. The time has come for governments around the world to take strong action by naming and shaming the perpetrators of the crimes committed against the Venezuelan people and by standing with Venezuela’s beleaguered democratic movement.

Today Venezuela is amongst the most corrupt nations on Earth. Since 2016 inflation has increased by 50,000,000 per cent, and many of its people are starving. The UN Human Rights Commissioner has found that the government uses food as a weapon, has engaged in extrajudicial killings, and is keeping hundreds of political prisoners. Human Rights Watch and The New York Times have been forced from the country. The minimum wage is less than $4 per month—not enough to buy a single kilogram of beef—and the average Venezuelan has lost 24 pounds.

This implosion has set off the largest migration in South America’s history—displacing more people than the Colombian civil war, which lasted for 50 years. In total, it is estimated that almost five million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015, similar to the number who have fled Syria’s civil war...

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