The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, met Wednesday in Santo Domingo with representatives of the diaspora of Venezuela in the Dominican Republic, EFE reported.
“I meet today with the Venezuelan diaspora in the Dominican Republic to listen to their concerns and learn about the migratory uncertainties they face,” Almagro reported on the Twitter social network, after participating in Santo Domingo at the Central American and Caribbean Conference of Political Parties, organized for the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).
Venezuelans in the Dominican territory went from 3,434 in 2012 to 25,872 in 2017, according to official figures, but data from representatives of the coordinating board of the Venezuelan diaspora in the country estimate that there are already 30,000, most of them with irregular migration status .
It is precisely in this context that the Organization of American States called for an extraordinary session of the permanent council on September 5, in order to address the situation of the mass departure of Venezuelans.
The document explained that the session will be attended by the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro; representatives of the International Organization of Migration (IOM); as well as members of the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Costa Rican ambassador to the OAS, Rita María Hernández Bolaños, was in charge of issuing the call because she temporarily holds the Chair of the Permanent Council.
Hernández Bolaños agreed to the request that Almagro had made on August 20 in a letter to convene a meeting of the Council within two weeks with the aim of addressing the migration crisis caused by the situation in Venezuela.
In a forum held yesterday in Santo Domingo, Almagro already announced that the Permanent Council would meet next week to address the massive exit of Venezuelans, which he considered “the largest exodus that exists in the history of the Western Hemisphere”.
Precisely, the immigration authorities of the Andean Community (CAN), made up of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, today hold an extraordinary private meeting in Lima to address the issue of Venezuelan immigration and coordinate their future health and humanitarian policies. respect.
According to the IOM and UNHCR, some 2.3 million Venezuelans currently live outside their country. More than 1.6 million have left Venezuela since 2015 and 90% are in other parts of Latin America.
Venezuela has lost more than 40% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last four years and registers a skyrocketing inflation that is expected to reach 1,000,000% this year, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).