By Joel Bowman, Editorial Director, International Man
January 30, 2019
MEDELLÍN, COLOMBIA — Day by day, the situation in Venezuela worsens. The newswires were on the case with the latest…
(Reuters) - At least 40 people are believed to have been killed in Venezuela’s recent violence, including 26 shot by pro-government forces, five killed in house raids and 11 during looting, U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said on Tuesday.
He said more than 850 people were detained between Jan. 21 and Jan. 26, including 77 children, some as young as 12. On Jan. 23, 696 people were detained across the country, the highest daily number of detentions in Venezuela in 20 years.
President Maduro's United Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela) is on the brink of implosion.
And as the human cost mounts, desperate refugees pour into neighboring Brazil, Guyana and here to Colombia...
To date, more than a million starving Venezuelans have crossed the Colombian border, a decision that would have been utterly unthinkable even one generation ago. (Note: More on the situation as it unfolds here on the ground in future communiqués.)
Meanwhile, a Colombian-born amigo writes us from Argentina, summing up the absurdity of the situation…
“A friend of mine was born in Cúcuta, a historic city along the border with Venezuela, back in the ‘80s. The situation in Colombia was tumultuous (to say the least) at the time, so his parents bribed a midwife to say he was born in Venezuela in order to get the papers necessary for a foreign passport.
“Little did they notice that the midwife placed the wrong year on his Venezuelan papers. To this day he is one year younger on his Venezuelan passport than on his Colombian one. Lucky guy.”
Lucky, yes… that he retained his Colombian passport!
Although seemingly unlikely at the time, the cartel-crippled Colombia of the ‘80s and ‘90s has since turned itself around. Venezuela, by contrast, is on the verge of complete collapse, if it’s not there already.
Joel Bowman for International Man