Venezuela was the central issue of the conversation between Bolsonaro and Duque

Venezuela was the central issue of the conversation between Bolsonaro and Duque

The situation in Venezuela and the importance of border cooperation were addressed by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, in the telephone conversation he had today with his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, who called him to congratulate him, informed official sources.

"The two spoke about the serious crisis suffered by Venezuela and the need to cooperate in the search for solutions" for the Venezuelan crisis, the Brazilian presidency said in a statement.

Bolsonaro, whose conservative policies are aligned with those of his Colombian counterpart, took office on Tuesday as president of Brazil after winning 56% of the votes in the October elections.

Duque communicated by telephone on Wednesday with the far right to congratulate him, wish him success in his management and reiterate his desire to strengthen relations between the two countries.

In addition to highlighting the importance of strengthening economic ties, Bolsonaro addressed in the conversation the situation of Venezuela, whose economic, political and social crisis has caused the migration of millions of Venezuelans to neighboring borders, including Colombia and Venezuela, according to the note of the press office of the presidency.

In this sense, Bolsonaro pointed out as one of the issues of special attention the cooperation in the border area, in which Colombia has a vast experience as the largest recipient of Venezuelan emigrants.

After being elected president, Bolsonaro has said on several occasions that he will not force Venezuelans who have sought refuge in the country to return to Venezuela but will impose a regime to control his income.

According to official figures from the Colombian government, based on data from international organizations, of the more than 2.3 million Venezuelans who have left their country, 50% are in Colombia.

According to official data, from 2017 until last September, 154,920 Venezuelans entered Brazil through the border town of Pacaraima, in the Amazonian state of Roraima and the only border crossing between both countries, but slightly more than half (79,402) have already abandoned the national territory.

Brazilian authorities estimate that between 700 and 800 Venezuelans arrive daily at Pacaraima, Venezuela's main gateway to Brazil.

Of those who decided to stay in Brazil, about 5,200 are in one of the shelters built in Boa Vista, capital of Roraima, and are currently dependent on humanitarian aid.

The lack of structure in Roraima, one of the poorest states in the country, has generated conflicts between Brazilians and Venezuelans on the border and forced the government to start a process to move migrants to other cities, which is slowly advancing.

To resolve the crisis generated by the arrival of the Venezuelans, the then Brazilian president, Michel Temer, decreed in the middle of the year an intervention in the security of Roraima to be able to send the Army to assist the immigrants.


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