CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AUGUST 28, 2018) (GOVERNMENT TV) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on Venezuelans who have left the country to return and stop being “economic slaves… cleaning toilets overseas.”
During a televised speech, Maduro accused the right-wing governments of the region of luring the migrants, and said they were met with discrimination, economic persecution and slavery in Colombia and Peru.
As the OPEC nation battles skyrocketing inflation, food and medicine shortages, there has been a dramatic uptick in migration with thousands of Venezuelans leaving every week this summer. Most have headed to Colombia and Peru, where the countries say they are struggling to accommodate the large influx.
Close to 1 million Venezuelans now live in Colombia and more than 400,000 in Peru, according to migration officials from the two Andean countries.
Foreign ministers from a number of South American countries are expected to meet in Ecuador next week to discuss the Venezuelan migrant crisis. Peru has also called for a meeting at the Organization for American States and the United Nations to discuss the topic.