translated from Spanish: Duque warns UN and IOM of Venezuela restrictions on their returnees

Bogota.- Colombian President Iván Duque said on Monday that international agencies should pay attention to the new entry restrictions imposed by the Venezuelan government on citizens of that country who want to return from abroad under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.» This will be an issue to be observed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations (UN) through its office for refugees, because we are facilitating this humanitarian process,» Duque said in an interview with Colombian National Radio.

The representative added that «the regime in Venezuela is trying to limit the arrival of these connationals in their country.» LIMITS TO RETURNAdections According to Migration Colombia, the regime of Nicolás Maduro imposed new limitations on Venezuelans who wish to return by the humanitarian corridors open on the international bridges Simón Bolívar, in Cúcuta, and José Antonio Páez, in Arauca, since the border has been closed since last March by the coronavirus pandemic. For the Simón Bolívar can pass daily 300 Venezuelan returnees and by the José Antonio Páez 100, but Migración Colombia said that the Government of Maduro arranged that from today the crossings of the border can only be made three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This measure affects thousands of Venezuelans who have decided to return when they are left out of work in Colombia and other countries in the region and who for weeks have been mainly piled up in Cúcuta, a Colombian city bordering San Antonio, Táchira state, waiting to be allowed across the border. Duque said that Colombia has received Venezuelan migrants «with a sense of fraternity in the midst of a major social and economic humanitarian crisis resulting from the dictatorship, but when we have seen that there is a desire for these citizens to return to their country, we have sought humanitarian corridors to facilitate it.» The Caribbean department of La Guajira, neighbor of the Venezuelan state of Zulia, is another dynamic border point between the two countries, but there has not yet been a formal humanitarian corridor, which makes the passage of people through that region sporadic. DISMINUE MIGRATIONIn Colombia established in the last five years more than 1.8 million Venezuelans who left their country fleeing the crisis, of which 71,483 returned voluntarily between 14 May and 4 June pressed by the pandemic, according to data from Migration Colombia.The Venezuelans, who leave from different parts of Colombia , arrive on chartered buses or even walking to Cúcuta or Arauca, bordering the Venezuelan state of Apure, hoping to cross the border to their country, a reverse route to the one they did in recent years. Duque added that the new restriction imposed by the Maduro government, with which Colombia has no diplomatic relations since February 23, 2019, creates «a complex circumstance, because it is blocking a humanitarian possibility» for thousands of Venezuelans. You may also be interested: Free Venezuelan journalist who recorded in Caracas the supply of gasolineFelipe VI transports his affection to Venezuelans who migrate «obligatoryly»The «nightmare» of the coronavirus awakens Venezuelans from the dream of remittances

Original source in Spanish

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