US: Hipocresy and Cruelty

Venezuelan asylum seekers at U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: Democracy Now!

From the editorial desk of La Jornada:

Once again, the immigration issue exposes the hypocrisy, disdain for human rights, manipulation and cruelty of the U.S. leaders. Since Wednesday, the policy of granting conditional humanitarian freedom to Venezuelans entering the United States was abandoned, and the automatic application of Title 42 began –a provision established by former President Donald Trump that allows (in flagrant violation of international law on the right to asylum) the expulsion of migrants who enter without documents to its territory, under the pretext of combating the spread of covid-19.

With the new provisions, hundreds of Venezuelans have been expelled to our country (Mexico) in the course of a few hours, and it is estimated that about a thousand will be sent here every day for the next few weeks. Washington announced a new immigration plan that will receive a total of 24,000 Venezuelans who meet strict requirements: they must apply for entry via Internet before traveling, arrive by plane, have a contact that guarantees financial support, have a complete vaccination schedule and pass an evaluation of their biometric and security data. Any Venezuelan who enters the U.S. without meeting these conditions will be expelled. The number of admissions is derisory, given that in the last year 180,000 arrived in the United States, and that only including the crossings at the Mexico border.

If Washington’s treatment of all migrants from developing nations is deplorable and illegal, the turn against Venezuelans is doubly reprehensible when practically the entire U.S. political class is in agreement in denouncing the government of President Nicolás Maduro as an authoritarian, repressive and illegitimate regime, and therefore placing the citizens of the South American nation as the ideal candidates for humanitarian asylum.

It also reveals the sadism of the superpower, which on the one hand undertakes a brutal sabotage against the Venezuelan economy, closing all avenues to provide its population with basic goods and services, and on the other hand slams the door on those who leave their place of origin in search of work, or professional and educational opportunities. In this way, thousands of people are confronted with the reality that Washington’s alleged unlimited support for the Venezuelan people is nothing more than a front for destabilization aimed at overthrowing the Bolivarian government and taking control of the natural resources of the country with the world’s largest oil reserves.

As has been the case since it became a gateway country for migrants from Latin America, the Caribbean and even other regions, the new U.S. policy towards Venezuelan nationals places Mexico in a difficult situation. With services totally overwhelmed and with financial capacities very different from those of its northern neighbor, it will have to find accommodation, provide support and, most likely, take in a large number of asylum seekers indefinitely. It is to be hoped that Mexican authorities and society will remember the mistreatment suffered for decades by our compatriots who have departed in search of the elusive American dream, and will react to the new arrivals with solidarity and empathy.

This article was published in La Jornada on October 16th, 2022. https://www.jornada.com.mx/2022/10/16/opinion/002a1edi English translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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