Venezuela & the Refugee Crisis

Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar account for two-thirds of people displaced across borders.

Hi friends!

It’s been a while since I last wrote. My family came to visit and after not seeing them for two years, I chose to spend all my time, energy and attention on them.

Now that I’m back, it seems to me the world is going to hell. There is war, environmental catastrophes, the demise of currencies and the abuse of people’s dignities.

As you know, I want to use The Misfit to explore the societal and economic world around us. More than that, I want to give a voice to the voiceless.

So today, I want to talk about the most vulnerable among us - the abused, and the forgotten… refugees (mainly in the context of Venezuela).

The Venezuelan Crisis

According to the United Nations, more than 5.6 million Venezuelans have left the country since the crisis started to worsen in 2014. Of course, the government has rejected these numbers by saying the enemy has inflated the data.

No matter how you slice and dice it, the numbers are still absurdly high.

It all started in 1999, when Hugo Chávez became president and promised to reduce the country’s high levels of inequality. While some argue that he did manage to do that (to a degree), some of his policies backfired…

Like price controls aimed at making basic goods more affordable to the poor.

Price controls meant that Venezuelans could be able to afford flour, cooking oil, toiletries, etc. but it also meant that Venezuelan producers lost the incentive to produce because they weren’t profiting.

This led to extreme shortages. Like spending a whole day making a line at the grocery store just to get toilet paper.

There was also a loosening of foreign currency controls, which allowed traders to sell goods and services in dollars. However, this meant the poor - or those without access to U.S. dollars - could not participate in the economy.

In a way, this move actually worsened the wealth gap.

Then, there were sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector which previously provided almost all of Venezuela’s government revenue. Now there was no income coming into an already impoverished country.

All of this - and a hell of a lot more - led Venezuela into the most epic hurricane of economic crisis (with hyperinflation), political turmoil, and the neglect of human rights.

In the blink of an eye, the world saw a nation that not long ago was the wealthiest country in Latin America become a refugee crisis… thanks to poor economic policies and the greed of a leader.

Refugee Key Facts and Figures (UNHCR)

  • 82.4 million people (1% of the world population) were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of conflict, persecution, human rights violations and violence. Now, humanity is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, including 26.4 million refugees, 48.0 million internally displaced people and 4.1 million asylum-seekers.

  • Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar account for two-thirds of people displaced across borders.

  • 42 per cent of forcibly displaced persons are children under the age of 18.

Source

Aannddd here is the migration route for Venezuelans…

This isn’t just happening in Venezuela. Some crises, like the war in Afghanistan, have lasted for decades. Others, like the conflict in Ethiopia, are more recent. I suspect we will continue to see an explosion of refugee crisis as the war on money and power continues.

A Lack of Action From Countries

Some countries like Lebanon, Uganda and Sweden have been receiving large numbers of refugees over the years, but many others are doing nothing or doing everything in their power to prevent refugees from coming into their country.

Japan has the third largest economy in the world and a population of 126 million. Yet it has only received 1,394 refugees in the last TEN YEARS.

The pandemic also forced governments to diminish humanitarian support for countries in an attempt to save money. As wealthy countries tighten their borders and cut their aid budgets, hope for refugees seems dismal. If anything, it matters more than ever before.

What most countries don’t realize is that the refugee crisis affects us all, whether we like it or not.

As an example, humanitarian problems create environmental problems. When huge groups of people migrate it puts a strain on the environment around them, including vegetation, water, animal and resources. Which can then strain an economy, create extreme political dialogue and hate, break societies, fuel racism and more.

Beyond that… it’s a human life at stake. A human being who matters.

One Last Word

We must ask ourselves: what can we do to help with the biggest humanitarian crisis we have seen in our history? I don’t have an answer - and I hate that I don’t.

If anything, I am more and more convinced that the small actions - our writing, our voice, our social media, our relentless calling/writing to our local representative, and most importantly, voting with our dollars - are having a bigger impact than you could ever imagine.

And if I may dare ever so greatly, I think the biggest action we can all take… is to bet on bitcoin. YEP.

Bitcoin is a currency that is not owned or manipulated by anyone. Instead it’s created by hard-code, which removes the element of human error, greed and ego.

It’s also currency that is does not need to oppress the people in order to survive. It’s “open and decentralized” meaning anyone in the world can tap into its network.

If anything bitcoin seeks to restore the balance of the world by democratizing wealth and freedom. A refugee who owns bitcoin cannot be robbed of their bitcoin because the government cannot possibly take it away from them. And that’s why governments hate it, because it means they lose power over the people and the tight grip over their lives.

Now, I sit here wondering “how can bring bitcoin to more refugees?”

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