At least 6,000 Venezuelans lined up at Peru's northern border on Tuesday in hopes of entering the country before a deadline for acquiring residency, and another 4,000 were due to arrive in the next two days, Peru's ombudsman's office said.
Dozens of Venezuelans who fled their crisis-stricken country for Peru are seeking to take up a Caracas offer to fly them home, as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro seizes on hardships migrants face abroad to shore up domestic support.
Their drama is part of a deepening regional humanitarian crisis set off by the exodus of tens of thousands of Venezuelans who are voting with their feet and abandoning their country, mainly into neighboring Colombia, and also Ecuador and Peru.
Economists say the plan announced on Friday is likely to escalate the crisis facing the once-prosperous country that is now suffering from Soviet-style product shortages and a mass exodus of citizens fleeing for nearby South American countries.
At one of Caracas' biggest public hospitals, most bathrooms are closed. Patients fill jugs from a tiny tap on the ground floor that sometimes has a trickle of water. Operations are postponed or canceled.
Venezuela's continuing struggles with economic malaise and the low price of oil are spilling out in the open with serious consequences — babies dying, consumer product shortages and a national leader being threatened with ouster.
Yolanda Navas and her father Jhonattan left Venezuela in 2000. The family overstayed their tourist visas and lived undocumented in the US until the Obama administration's DACA program added a bit of normalcy. Now, a Supreme Court decision could affect the fate of the program.
There's a whole lot of drama in Venezuela surrounding the recent street demonstrations there. And not just in the streets. Lawmakers are also tangled up in some high drama. Take the case of Maria Corina Machado.
Venezuela's Chavista regime took power nearly 20 years ago, causing people to flee to the US. Today, some of those immigrants — and some still at home — say economic and political conditions in their country are similar, or worse, than they were in Cuba in the 1960s.