The Chilean consulate in Caracas awoke this Monday crowded by Venezuelans seeking a special visa to settle in that country, a requirement they perceive as another obstacle to the possibility of escaping the economic crisis.
A yellow tape with the phrase “danger does not pass” separated the interested parties from the door of the building where the diplomatic headquarters operated, which they were not allowed to enter.
To one side was placed a blackboard with the steps to obtain the document, in front of which some 400 people struggled trying to get information.
“Do not push, we’re all Venezuelans,” someone shouted in the middle of the crowd controlled by a dozen policemen.
In the afternoon, the Facebook page of the consulate reported that it was closed, but a source from the Chilean Foreign Ministry assured AFP that there was public attention.
He This requirement was imposed by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on April 8 to “bring order” to the growing Venezuelan migration.
But its scope is not clear for Leipzig Mijares, administrator with several postgraduate programs that had been preparing his departure for a year and a half.
“Those of us who have passages to Chile for this week are in a limbo,” anguished Mijares, 44, told AFP.
The chancellery source said that on Monday the first “democratic responsibility” visa was delivered to the consulate of Puerto Ordaz (south), although Mijares later stated that according to his findings the procedure in Caracas will last about 20 business days.
“We know that an immigration law came because in Chile migration has been disorderly, but we do not have time to process it before the trip,” added the man, who has tickets to travel on Friday along with his cousin Jesus Mijares.
Diaspora without brake
The blackboard sent them to the website of the Chilean Foreign Ministry and to their social networks, since the application is made online.
Images that circulated on social networks also showed people queuing in front of the consulate in Puerto Ordaz.
On the page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is clarified that the visa is for those wishing to reside in Chile, exempting Venezuelans who want to enter through tourism.
With a hyperinflation that would rise to 13,000% this year according to the IMF and a shortage of food and medicines, thousands have opted to leave.
Tomás Páez, an expert sociologist in migration, told AFP that between 400,000 and 500,000 Venezuelans left in the last two years.
The flow to the southern country is growing
Of 8,001 migrants in 2014 it was increased to 84,586 in 2017, according to the Chilean Ministry of the Interior.
The diaspora could continue to grow, 34.7% of the nearly 30 million Venezuelans consider leaving , according to the Datanálisis pollster.
The visa announced by Piñera against the Venezuelan “democratic crisis” will be valid for one year , extendable for once, and then make it possible to request permanent residence.
This demand – which is added to the visa imposed by Panama last October – is accompanied by a hardening of Piñera’s speech against Maduro.
Jesús Mijares, who sold his car and several appliances to pay for the passage to Santiago – increasingly expensive and scarce – believes that the visa is another obstacle for those like him who already had the documents required by Chile. (I)