GZERO Media logo

The Exodus and the Backlash: Venezuelans Abroad

The Exodus and the Backlash: Venezuelans Abroad

Across Latin America, US President Donald Trump is deeply unpopular, in part because of his harsh policies (and words) towards immigrants from the region. But as Venezuela’s political and humanitarian crisis deepens, driving hundreds of thousands of desperate people into neighboring countries, Latin American governments that have generally kept open-border policies are facing harder choices of their own on migration policy.

The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago has already deported several dozen Venezuelan refugees, drawing criticism from the UN.

In Brazil, waves of Venezuelan asylum-seekers are overwhelming the infrastructure of sparsely-populated regions that border Venezuela, prompting one governor to sue the federal government in a bid to close the border and secure more humanitarian assistance.

In Colombia, where the recently-ended conflict with Marxist guerillas had already displaced some 7 million people, the arrival of 600,000 Venezuelan refugees is further straining resources and sharpening political divides ahead of this month’s presidential election. In fact, the leading presidential candidate has already proposed quotas for refugees.

Across the region, an increasingly nasty xenophobia against Venezuelans is taking root, even in popular culture.

In Europe, the shock of the Syrian refugee crisis fundamentally altered the European Union and its member states, driving politics rightward, stoking long-dormant nationalisms and, arguably, costing the EU its second largest economy.

Modern Latin America has never known a cross-border refugee crisis of this magnitude.

Will the impact be as profound?

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

More Show less

You've watched Indian Matchmaking... We bring you the Hindu Nationalist Matchmaker where we help find love for the 70 year old virgin - Narendra Modi!

"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal