Colombia says 550,000 Venezuelans have fled to the country

BBCColombia says the number of Venezuelans fleeing a severe economic crisis to live in Colombia has increased by 62% in the last six months.

Migration officials say more than 550,000 Venezuelans are now living in Colombia, mostly illegally.

The influx is putting pressure on the government especially in border areas to provide the migrants with food, shelter and medical care.

The number of Venezuelans travelling through Colombia has doubled. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and elsewhere. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, Russia, and even transnational criminal organizations.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform policymakers and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.