For thousands of years prior to the 18th century, authoritarian rule and limited commerce prevented rapid improvement to general human economic conditions. Since then, economic freedom has allowed humans to fly through the air, walk on the moon, conquer numerous diseases, develop hundreds of life-saving medical treatments, more than double our average lifespans, massively improve dentistry, enable billions to live without hunger, and invent conveniences such as appliances, lights, photography, air conditioning, cell phones and indoor plumbing. All of this progress depended on economic freedom: private property rights including the right to trade.
When a system works this well, we shouldn’t mess with it. But alas, leftists point out that economic freedom allows some to get much richer than others. Leftists ignore that in America, the poor today have overall lifestyles far superior to those enjoyed by the middle class fifty years ago, including better cars, better medical treatments, safer food, more affordable clothing, advanced phones and other electronics. And the poor fifty years ago were better off than the middle class 100 years ago, and so forth. But leftists believe they can orchestrate increased income equality without damaging future innovations and prosperity. There is no evidence – theoretical or empirical – to support their beliefs.
The showcase for leftist economic policies is Venezuela. Venezuela seemed to be a country immune to the debilitating effects of socialism: it has the world’s largest oil reserves. The Venezuelan government’s confiscation of wealth and massive giveaway programs in the early years after Chavez’s rise to power caused leftists all over the world to celebrate Venezuela as a success story. In 2007 (about eight years after Chavez took power) Venezuela proudly shipped free heating oil to poor people in the U.S.It took longer than a few years to destroy Venezuela because of its incredibly valuable natural resources. Eventually, socialism did it. Stealing wealth from those who produce more than they consume has consequences. In recent years Venezuela has been unable to supply its unfortunate citizens with adequate food and other essentials. The Miami Herald reports that 15%-19% of Venezuela’s population has fled the country. Crime rates such as kidnapping are up over 2,000% from the years of democratic rule prior to Chavez’s takeover.
The decline of Venezuela has been truly astounding. Yet leftists plan to impose their hairbrained economic schemes on a global scale just like they did in Venezuela on a national scale.
Millennials and others do not understand economics. They lament over the increasing percentage of our income that goes to health care. What stupidity! In the last 150 years America has gone from having to devote 50% of its workforce to food production to devoting well under 5%. The incredible advances in agricultural productivity have freed up tens of millions of workers to devote themselves to improved healthcare and other pursuits. A cherished goal should be that we are able to meet all of our non-healthcare needs with fewer and fewer workers (and other resources) so that we can devote more and more to healthcare. There is a limit to how many electronic gadgets, automobiles and years of schooling a person needs. But we are nowhere near to reaching the limit to the number of medical cures and innovative treatment methods that can help us live better lives. Eventually, technological advances will permit vastly improved healthcare with less resources – and the resulting excess of resources will be applied to a new sector.
The leftists will not just halt economic progress – they will reverse it. If the leftists gain control of our entire economy they will destroy it. If that happens to America’s economy, what country will take over the role of being the world’s engine of innovation?
A Harvest festival observed by the Pilgrims at Plymouth
The most prominent historic thanksgiving event in American popular culture is the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance and later as a civil tradition.
The Plymouth settlers had settled in land abandoned by Patuxet indians when all but one had died in a plague. After a harsh winter killed half of the Plymouth settlers, the last surviving Patuxet, Squanto came in at the request of the Abenaki indian Samoset, the first native American to encounter the Pilgrims. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them until he too succumbed to plague a year later. The Wampanoag Chief Massasoit also gave food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient.
The Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. It included 50 people who were on the Mayflower and 90 Native Americans.
Two colonists gave personal accounts of the 1621 feast in Plymouth.
Plymouth Plantation Governor William Bradford:
They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they can be used (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.
Assistant Governor, Edward Winslow:
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
The Pilgrims held a true Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 following a fast,and a rain which had broken a drought.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving 2019.
MILESFORTIS WILL RETURN
Didn’t they make a movie with this as a major subplot ?
WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump said he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups for their role in trafficking narcotics and people, prompting a speedy request for talks by Mexico.
“They will be designated … I have been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process,” Trump said in an interview aired on Tuesday with conservative media personality Bill O’Reilly.
Soon afterwards, Mexico’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying it would quickly seek a high-level meeting with U.S. State Department officials to address the legal designation as well as the flow of arms and money to organized crime.
“The foreign minister will establish contact with his counterpart, Michael R. Pompeo, in order to discuss this very important issue for the bilateral agenda,” the ministry said.
The leaders of Colombia’s three largest unions and members of the organizing committee of the national strike called for peaceful protests across the nation as the Paro Nacional enters its sixth day. With Bogota at the epicenter of the Paro, President Ivan Duque met with the National Strike Committee Tuesday morning in the Presidential Palace to address a host of issues; among them respect for the peace accords signed with FARC in 2016, withdrawing from Congress tax and pension reform legislation, corruption and economic inequality.
The “National Dialogue” was called by President Duque to find resolution and compromise to a strike that during five days has resulted in more 500 injured, among them 350 members of the country’s police force. The protests also claimed the life of an 18-year old student, Dilan Cruz, who died in a Bogota hospital after being shot by a member of the police riot squad — Esmad.
The Most Important News Story Right Now Isn’t Impeachment, It’s The Crisis In Mexico
Cartels in Mexico aren’t just fighting over drugs, they’re fighting over industries, and it might well trigger a new and much bigger migrant crisis on the U.S. border.
Besides other important business the politicians have been able to avoid with this crap-for-brains impeachment nonsense, the hard work on how to deal with what’s going on just to the south of us has been taken care of.
Two important and interrelated news stories largely passed under the radar Wednesday as the House impeachment hearings continued to dominate the headlines. Both stories concern the deteriorating state of affairs in Mexico and have huge implications for immigration, the southwest border, and U.S. national security. It’s a shame more Americans aren’t paying attention.
The first was a report from BuzzFeed that as of Wednesday the Trump administration began carrying out a controversial plan to deport asylum-seekers from El Salvador and Honduras—not to their home countries, but to Guatemala, which the administration has designated a “safe third country,” meaning that migrants from those countries must first apply for asylum in Guatemala before seeking asylum in the United States.
The move is part of the administration’s broader strategy to reduce the number of Central Americans seeking asylum at the southwest border, which last year saw a dramatic increase in illegal immigration largely driven by families and minors from the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The second story was a Los Angeles Times dispatch from the Mexican state of Michoacán, where rival cartels are waging war not over drug trafficking routes but over control of the multibillion-dollar avocado industry. More than a dozen criminal groups are fighting over the avocado trade in and around Uruapan, the capitol of Michoacán, “preying on wealthy orchard owners, the laborers who pick the fruit and the drivers who truck it north to the United States,” writes reporter Kate Linthicum. Organized crime in Mexico, she explains, is diversifying—it isn’t just about drugs anymore:
In parts of Guerrero state, cartels control access to gold mines and even the price of goods in supermarkets. In one city, Altamirano, the local Coca-Cola bottler closed its distribution center last year after more than a dozen groups tried to extort money from it. The Pepsi bottler left a few months later.
In Mexico City, bar owners in upscale neighborhoods must pay taxes to a local gang, while on the nation’s highways, cargo robberies have risen more than 75% since 2016.
Compared with drug trafficking, a complex venture that requires managing contacts across the hemisphere, these new criminal enterprises are more like local businesses. The bar to entry is far lower.
The report also notes that homicides are at an all-time high in Mexico, and that cartels have taken control of migrant smuggling in the state of Tamaulipas, which borders the Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, the busiest stretch of the border for illegal immigration.
All this comes on the heels of the massacre of an American family in Mexico, including three women and six children, earlier this month by cartel gunmen, as well as the defeat of a detachment of the Mexican National Guard by cartel forces in the city of Culiacan last month. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has no strategy to reduce cartel violence and no intention of fighting the cartels.
The Chaos South of Our Border Won’t Stay There
So what do these two news stories from Wednesday have to do with one another, and why would they have major implications for the United States? Simply put, what has happened in Central America is now happening in Mexico. The difference is, when asylum-seekers from Mexico start turning up on our border we won’t be able to deport them to a third country or easily turn them away. If you thought the border crisis was bad last year, wait until hundreds of thousands of families in Michoacán and Tamaulipas decide to flee the cartels and seek asylum in the United States.
On this day in 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones led hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their Jonestown agricultural commune in the South American nation of Guyana. This introduced the term “…drink the Kool-Aid”, since drinking cyanide poisoned Flavor Aid caused most of the deaths.
For many years, I worked with a man who had a slight connection with the cult. But slight as it was, he was right concerned enough to violate company policy and start carrying a S&W .357 afterwards. Seems he was a HAM amateur radio operator who had DXed the Jonestown shortwave radio station. He showed me a QSL card mailed to him and from them knowing his name and address, he decided he wasn’t going to take any chances.
I didn’t blame him a bit.
Strange thing, we speculated had some gnostic religious aspect. The QSL card didn’t have the first letter of his first & last name on the address line. It had to be purposeful since those letters were used elsewhere in the address.
I expect sometime in the near future that it’s going to break wide open down there. The only question is which cartel will be supplying the guns.
Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido led thousands of his supporters through the streets of the country’s capital on Saturday to demand the departure of President Nicolas Maduro.
In a speech, Guaido called on his supporters to remain in the streets in the upcoming days, reminding them how civilian action ousted Bolivia’s Evo Morales only six days before.
In other parts of the city, Maduro supporters wearing red shirts prepared for a scheduled rally at the presidential palace in the center of Caracas. Maduro’s socialist party also called upon its members to protest in solidarity with his ally Morales, who currently resides in exile in Mexico.
Quite an interesting article in The Atlantic, seeing as it’s a leftist loving publication as you’ll ever come across. The leftist socialist demoncraps of our nation need to have their noses rubbed in this.
Evo Morales has been attacking Bolivia’s democracy for many years. Since coming to office in 2006, the socialist president has concentrated ever more authority in his own hands, denounced the opposition in aggressive terms, and placed loyalists in key institutions, from the country’s public broadcaster to its highest court.
Like many populists on both the left and the right, Morales claimed to wield power in the name of the people. But after weeks of mass protests in La Paz and other Bolivian cities, and the rapid crumbling of his support both within law enforcement and his own political party, it was his loss of legitimacy among the majority of his own countrymen that forced Morales to resign yesterday……..
Morales’s departure from office marks both a sea change in Latin American politics and a stinging rebuke to the naïveté of parts of the Western left. Even though there had always been strong evidence of their anti-democratic leanings, new socialist leaders such as Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia were widely celebrated throughout the first decade of the 21st century as the future face of Latin America.
Now virtually nothing remains of their erstwhile appeal. Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro, have made Venezuela deeply authoritarian and shockingly poor. Meanwhile, the Bolivian people have come out in great numbers to stop Morales from violently crushing their protests. . . .
From east to west, and south to north, the dream of Latin America’s so-called pink wave has turned into a nightmare. And the many scholars, writers, and politicians who have for years sung the praises of aspiring dictators like Maduro and Morales should not be easily forgiven for sacrificing the rights of distant people on the altar of their rigid ideology.
Another attack carried out by cartel gunmen in Northern Mexico left one dead and a second wounded from a traveling family.
The attack took place during the early morning hours on Thursday, according to local reports. The victims were traveling in a pickup in a rural mountain community near the Sonora-Chihuahua border when gunmen opened fire on the outskirts of Sahuaripa.
Breitbart Texas law enforcement sources say a woman identified as Arcelia Gracia López, 30, and her brother Rodrigo, 40, plus another unidentified adult were traveling to the town of Yécora. While on the road, they came upon a group of gunmen who opened fire–fatally striking Arcelia and wounding Rodrigo. The unidentified adult was uninjured. The assailants then sped away in at least one truck.
The area around Sahuaripa is approximately 165 miles south from Bavispe, the site of the narco-terror attack that murdered three women and six children near a rural Mormon community.
The rural mountain communities along the eastern section of Sonora is known for the heavy presence of cartel activity with operatives patrolling unchallenged in convoys of armored vehicles with military-style weapons. Sources recently reported convoys in communities of Sahuaripa, Yécora, Rosario de Tesopaco.
So, you get the impression that the President of ‘Narco Mexico’ isn’t too hep on the idea of taking on his bosses.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 5, 2019
As the Trump administration has turned the screws on Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro, it has had a staunch and eager ally in neighboring Colombia.
The South American nation has its own troubles (guerrillas, political assassinations, soaring coca production, and a stumbling peace deal), but it has good reason to worry about Venezuela.
“The threat of Venezuela — and the instability that Maduro wants to create in Colombia — are very clear,” Francisco Santos, Colombia’s ambassador to the United States, told the Miami Herald. “It’s an existential issue for Colombia.”
Speaking from his office in Washington on a recent weekday, Santos, a longtime diplomat and former vice president, said one of his key roles is to keep Washington focused on Venezuela as a threat to the region. And he regularly leads U.S. delegations to the chaotic Venezuela-Colombia border, where tens of thousands of Venezuelans cross every day looking for food, medicine and a way out.
The left’s enthusiasm for Third World immigrants isn’t only because they vote 8-2 for the Democrats. It’s that Latin American peasants seem uniquely amenable to idiotic socialist schemes.
You probably think it’s beyond silliness for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to keep promising FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL! NO PREMIUMS! NO CO-PAYS! ILLEGAL ALIENS, TOO! EVERYBODY GETS A PONY!
No one could be gullible enough to fall for that.
I refer you to the economic powerhouse that is Latin America.
Based on hundreds of years of indigenous people voting for politicians who made similar promises, Latin America has become the dream factory that it is today. That’s why Tegucigalpa is practically a byword for “technological innovation,” Santiago was the picture of calm sophistication this weekend, and Caracas is the ultimate in modern conveniences.
Perhaps you missed the article in last Saturday’s New York Times on what socialism has done for the water system in Venezuela:
The brick shack on the outskirts of Venezuela’s capital is crowded with tubs, jugs and buckets. The water they hold must last the family of eight for a week — but it’s not enough for frequent washing or flushing, so the kitchen is filled with greasy pots and the house smells of stale urine.
And none of the water is treated, making diarrhea and vomit a regular occurrence.
“We practically live in the bathroom,” said the mother of the family … [Her daughter] sat nearby, pale and listless, recovering from her latest bout of diarrhea just one month away from childbirth.
Democrats: We need some of that Latin American magic!
Twenty years ago, 60 percent of Venezuelans had regular access to safe drinking water. Today, only 30 percent do.
How did this happen?
Answer: Poor Venezuelans voted for it. If we let them in, they’ll vote for it here, too. (Except 20 percent, who will be patriotic Americans, i.e. Republicans.)
That’s great news for Sanders and Warren! But it’s terrible news for the country.
You may have read the news just a few days back: the Mexican military captured not one but two of El Chapo’s sons in the heart of Culiacán, the Sinaloan capital. One son freed himself—which is to say his entourage and retainers at hand overpowered and killed the soldiers at hand—and then, in a decisive riposte, seized the entire city center of Culiacán to compel the liberation of his brother.
The forces that emerged were in the literal sense awesome and awful. Heavy weaponry that would be familiar on any Iraqi, Syrian, or Yemeni battlefield was brought to bear. More and worse: custom-built armored vehicles, designed and built to make a Sahel-warfare technical look like an amateur’s weekend kit job, were rolled out for their combat debut. Most critically, all this hardware was manned by men with qualities the Mexican Army largely lacks: training, tactical proficiency, and motivation.
Then the coup de grace: as the Chapo sons’ forces engaged in direct combat with their own national military, kill squads went into action across Culiacán, slaughtering the families of soldiers engaged in the streets.
Cowed and overmatched—most crucially in the moral arena—the hapless band of soldiers still holding the second son finally received word from Mexico City, direct from President AMLO himself: surrender. Surrender and release the prisoner.
It’s an absolutely extraordinary episode even by the grim and bizarre annals of what we mistakenly call the post-2006 Mexican Drug War. The Battle of Culiacán stands on a level above, say, the Ayotzinapa massacre, or the Zetas’ expulsion of the entire population of Ciudad Mier. Killing scores of innocents and brutalizing small towns is one thing: seizing regional capital cities and crushing the national armed forces in open fighting in broad daylight is something else.
“Drug War” is a misnomer for reasons the Culiacán battle lays bare. This is not a mafia-type problem, nor one comprehensible within the framework of law enforcement and crime. This is something very much like an insurgency now—think of the eruption of armed resistance in Culiacán in 2019 as something like that in Sadr City in 2004—and also something completely like state collapse.
A Drug Cartel Just Defeated The Mexican Military In Battle
Mexico is in a state of collapse, and Americans need to realize that the crisis underway south of the Rio Grande won’t stop at the border.
When only government and criminals have guns…………..
The southwest U.S. border might be quieter now than it was this spring at the height of the migrant crisis, but south of the Rio Grande the Mexican state is disintegrating.
Last Thursday in the city of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, a battle erupted between government forces and drug cartel gunmen after the Mexican military captured two sons of jailed drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The elder son, Ivan, was quickly freed by his men, who overpowered government forces and secured his release. Ivan then launched an all-out siege of the entire city in an effort to free his younger brother, Ovidio.
The ensuing scene could have been mistaken for Syria or Yemen. Footage posted on social media Thursday showed burning vehicles spewing black smoke, heavily armed gunmen blocking roads, dead bodies strewn in the streets, and residents fleeing for cover amid high-caliber gunfire.
Armed with military-grade weapons and driving custom-built armored vehicles, cartel henchmen targeted security forces throughout Culiacan, launching more than one dozen separate attacks on Mexican security forces. They captured and held hostage eight soldiers, then kidnapped their families. Amid the fighting, an unknown number of inmates escaped from a nearby prison. At least eight people were killed and more than a dozen were injured.
The eight-hour battle ended when government forces, outgunned and surrounded, without reinforcements or a way to retreat, received an order directly from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to release their prisoner and surrender. Lopez Obrador later defended this decision, insisting that his security strategy is working and saying, “Many people were at risk and it was decided to protect people’s lives. I agreed with that, because we don’t do massacres, that’s over.”
Mexican president says they had to release the son of drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman after an intense battle between security forces and cartel gunmen as 'the situation became very difficult' and 'many people were at risk' https://t.co/guzODO7t8i pic.twitter.com/uFAU0pDCfD
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 18, 2019
Understand that the fighting in Culiacan is not just another episode in the “drug war,” nor is it merely an incident of organized crime. What’s happening Mexico right now is more like an insurgency. Yes, drug-trafficking is one of the things the cartels do, but it doesn’t nearly describe what they are or what role they’re playing in the disintegration of civil society in Mexico. Indeed, over the past decade cartels have diversified their economic activities to include everything from oil and gas production to industrial agriculture to offshore commercial fishing.
In other words, it’s fair to say that Mexico is now on a trajectory to become a vast gangland governed more by warlordism than by the state. The last time this happened was a century ago, during the decade-long Mexican Revolution, which eventually triggered the invasion and occupation of northern Mexico in 1916 by the U.S. Army, including the mobilization of the entire National Guard and a call for volunteers. Before it was over, U.S. forces attacked and occupied Nogales, Sonora, in 1918 and Ciudad Juarez in 1919……
Culiacan should be a wake-up call that the war now underway in Mexico will not stay there, and that we’d better start thinking about what that will mean for America.
In Venezuela, a crumbling economy and the collapse of even basic state infrastructure means water comes irregularly — and drinking it is an increasingly risky gamble. Venezuela’s current rate of infant mortality from diarrhea, which is closely related to water quality, is six times higher than 15 years ago, according to the World Health Organization.
But the government stopped releasing official public health data years ago.
So The New York Times commissioned researchers from the Universidad Central de Venezuela to recreate the water quality study they had conducted regularly for the water utility in Caracas from 1992 until 1999.
The scientists found that about a million residents were exposed to contaminated supplies. This puts them at risk of contracting waterborne viruses that could sicken them and threatens the lives of children and the most vulnerable.
“This is a potential epidemic,” said Jose María De Viana, who headed Caracas’s water utility, Hidrocapital, until 1999. “It’s very serious. It’s unacceptable.”
When Extinction Rebellion began their global “climate crisis” protests over a week ago, they may have truly inspired citizens to get involved.
Just not in the way they expected.
First, we had Londoners bringing a rapid end to the underground train demonstrations. Then, there are the continuing protests by the Dutch farmers, as their government wants to cut both nitrogen and carbon emissions.
Now, child climate alarmist Greta Thunberg’s climate change rally has been crashed by counter-protest led by truck convoy of oil and gas workers in Canada.
Greta Thunberg joined thousands of protesters marching in Canada’s energy heartland Alberta yesterday as a smaller counter-rally led by a truck convoy of oil and gas workers also converged on the provincial capital Edmonton.
A crowd of several thousand led by indigenous drummers with students, young people and families marched slowly from a downtown intersection towards the Alberta legislature building.
…’We are doing this because our future is at stake,’ Thunberg told the crowd.
‘We will not be bystanders. We are doing this because we want the people in power to unite behind science.
But a counter-protester said: ‘We care for the environment, of course we do. What they need to understand is that we’re hurting and we also need to care about Alberta jobs.’
The honking horns of big rig trucks blared from a nearby thoroughfare, where vehicles emblazoned with ‘We love Canada energy’ signs were driving up and down.
‘When they charged their iPhones last night, that power came from this plant,’ he said, pointing to the former coal-fired Keephills power plant near Edmonton that was being converted to natural gas.
‘Albertans and Canadians are practical people,’ he said. ‘They like real world solutions. Calling for the end of the modern industrial economy, advocating to put millions of people out of work… is not a real world solution.’
The counter-protesters say that they are tired of celebrities.
Glen Carritt, who organized the United We Roll convoy that travelled to Ottawa in February, said a similar convoy will start in Red Deer, Alta., on Friday morning and make its way to Edmonton.
Carritt said the trucks are expected to arrive at the legislature at noon MT, when a climate rally is to begin with Thunberg, 16, who founded the Fridays For Future climate strikes that have galvanized young people around the world.
He said Albertans in the oil and gas sector are frustrated with celebrities visiting the province and telling them how to run their business.
“We in the province of Alberta are tired of celebrities coming into our province and trying to tell us how to run our oil and gas sector,” read a post on the United We Roll Facebook page.
“I am asking everyone connected to the oil and gas industry to come out in unity to show Greta we do not need her yelling at us.”
It seems many Canadians are tired of environmental justice scolds and biased media.
Stateless baby Wilbelys officially “doesn’t exist,” Arianna is a six-year-old who’s moved home seven times, Jazmin is missing school — the children of the Venezuelan exodus are trading one ordeal for another in neighboring Colombia.
Migrants of all ages and social status are fleeing Venezuela’s crippling economic crisis, unable to cope with hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods and medicines.
Well over a million have ended up in neighboring Colombia, among them nearly 200,000 children. In reality, the figure is higher, migration officers say, because many entered the country illegally.
In other circumstances, living abroad could be any child’s dream. But this generation is suffering “an immense grieving,” according to Sandra Perdomo, director of the Zion foundation which provides assistance to at-risk children.
Most of them don’t understand what’s happening to them and worse, “they’ve lost all hope, they are no longer children.”
– Stateless –
In the final two weeks of her pregnancy, Yisela Palencia crossed the border into Colombia illegally.
The hospitals in her own country, for all its previous oil wealth, lacks medicine and reliable hospital equipment.
So taking her other two children, aged eight and five, with her, Palencia headed to Colombia via the smuggling trails that criss-cross the border and rejoined her exiled husband in Bogota.
But the birth of Wilbelys did not bring the joy the couple had hoped for. A legal void has made the baby’s first months a bureaucratic nightmare.
She is unable to benefit from her parent’s nationality, because there is no Venezuelan consular service in Colombia. But she cannot have Colombian nationality either as Bogota does not recognize the right of citizenship through birth in the country.
“My daughter has no homeland. She is not recognized here in Colombia or Venezuela,” said Palencia, 32. “Officially, she doesn’t exist.”
There are 24,000 children like Wilbelys in Colombia. President Ivan Duque signed a decree in August allowing them to benefit from Colombian nationality.
Palencia thought the problems were over for her daughter, who turned a year old in August, but the registry told her it her case could not be settled until December.
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — Colombia’s president compared Nicolás Maduro to Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic as he goes on a diplomatic offensive to corral the Venezuelan socialist, warning that he would be making a “stupid” mistake if he were to attack his U.S.-backed neighbor.
Ivan Duque made the comments in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press before traveling to New York where he is expected to condemn Maduro before the United Nations General Assembly as an abusive autocrat. Duque believes Maduro is not only responsible for the country’s humanitarian catastrophe but is also now a threat to regional stability for his alleged harboring of Colombian rebels.
“The brutality of Nicolás Maduro is comparable to Slobodan Milosevic,” said Duque, who has called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Maduro for human rights abuses. “It must come to an end.”
While Duque refused to rule out a military strike against the Marxist rebels he claims are hiding out across the border, he said any aggression by Venezuela’s armed forces would immediately trigger a regional response that could include additional sanctions and diplomatic actions.
“If they consider doing something so stupid, they know what the consequences will be,” said Duque.
#Bogotá En la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas, la próxima semana, alertaremos al mundo sobre efectos nefastos de la dictadura venezolana, entre ellos el impacto de la crisis migratoria en la región. Buscaremos acompañamiento y recursos de cooperación para atender esta crisis. pic.twitter.com/W7Kq10Icuy
— Iván Duque (@IvanDuque) September 21, 2019