Friday, November 25, 2016

Venezuelans Migrants Are Like Cubans

Nick Casey has a remarkable article in The New York Times (accompanied by some excellent photos) about Venezuelans emigrating to Brazil and to Caribbean countries. Venezuelans have become Cubans, but with no asylum options. They want to stay and want to work, but there is too little work and food scarcity. So they pay smugglers on get on boats, sometimes never to be hard from again. Possibly 200,000 Venezuelans have emigrated in the past year.

This made me think of the conversation I had with Quico Toro a few days ago on my podcast. I wanted to get his view on when the Venezuelan people would finally say they'd have enough. He said it was just impossible to determine when the tipping point would be. But what this story also reminds us is that desperate people don't necessarily look to politics. Albert Hirschman famously wrote about the choices of exit, voice, or loyalty. We can make the mistake of thinking people will choose voice when exit is also an option.


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