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LATIN AMERICA | 10-06-2019 16:41

Macri, flanked by Duque, says mass migration from Venezuela is unsustainable

President Mauricio Macri said this afternoon that the current pace of the migratory exodus of Venezuelans from their crisis-stricken nation is unsustainable, as he and Colombian President Iván Duque criticised President Nicolás Maduro.

President Mauricio Macri said this afternoon that the current pace of the migratory exodus of Venezuelans from their crisis-stricken nation is unsustainable, as he and Colombian President Iván Duque met at the Casa Rosada on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference at Government House, Macri accused Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of "seriously affecting the lives of millions of Venezuelans who are forced to leave their country."

The Cambiemos leader said the president's "usurpation" had to come to an end and vowed to do "everything possible" to end the Socialist administration's time in office.

"This [receiving the Venezuelans] is something we do with great joy and solidarity, but it can not be a sustainable solution over time. Venezuela, Venezuelans have to recover freedom and democracy in their country," he declared.

Macri also reiterated his nation's "deep commitment to the Venezuelan people," saying Argentina would help "do the impossible, to restore democracy."

According to the United Nations, 3.3 million Venezuelans have left their country since January 2016. Colombia, Duque's home nation, has welcomed the most Venezuelans,  an estimated 1.3 million people. Argentina currently plays host to around 130,000, the UN says.

Those figures, however, have been disputed by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who has accused the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of "lying and inflating" the numbers to "ask for and receive more resources."

Duque, meanwhile, praised Argentina's leadership on the Venezuela issue and said Macri's support has been "transcendental in denouncing these abuses," adding the two nations would "accelerate the siege to achieve the cessation of the usurpation and the dictatorship, [introduce] a government of transition and the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. "

Both Colombia and Argentina have recognised Juan Guaidó, the opposition politician and head of the National Assembly, as Venezuela's interim president. Guaidó is also recognised by the United States and fifty countries in Europe and Latin America as Venezuela's rightful leader. Russia, China and Cuba, on the other hand, support Maduro.

- TIMES/AFP

 

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