Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Return to the Fatherland Plan

Earlier this year, the Venezuelan government announced the "Plan Vuelve a la Patria" (Return to the Fatherland Plan) whereby Venezuelans abroad who wanted to return but did not have the resources could come to the embassy and make their case.

Now around 100 Venezuelans in Peru accepted that offer and are flying home.

In interviews with The Associated Press, several of those returning said they had difficulty finding jobs and encountered hurtful xenophobia that made a recent offer by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to fly them back appealing — a sharp contrast to the plight of hundreds of thousands of compatriots now trying to leave.
This is just sad all around. People never want to just up and leave their country. They fled Venezuela because conditions had become too intolerable. And yet conditions are even worse abroad, where the reaction to Venezuelans has begun to sour. In other words, they aren't returning because the Venezuelan economy has improved. If anything, it's the opposite. So Venezuelans must choose between two kinds of misery.

This is just a drop in the bucket, a tiny handful of stories. Millions of Venezuelans have emigrated and although we don't know how many would return if they could, we do know that the government can't actually afford to fly them all.

Misery abroad or misery at home. That's your choice.


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