Venezuelan Socialists, Embarrassed by Migrant Crisis, Demand Citizens Come Home

TOPSHOT - Venezuelan citizens cross the Simon Bolivar international bridge from San Antonio del Tachira in Venezuela to Norte de Santander province of Colombia on February 10, 2018. Oil-rich and once one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, Venezuela now faces economic collapse and widespread popular protest. / AFP …

Venezuelan socialist lawmaker Diosdado Cabello pleaded with the millions who have fled the country to come home in remarks Monday, a slight departure from the Maduro regime’s policy of denying the exodus.

Speaking at a press conference of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on Monday, Cabello said that the exodus of Venezuelans should come to live under a “responsible government” and enjoy the “opportunities for all.” 

“Come here with the people … here we have responsible government and our president has already ordered the plan to return to the country, come here for Venezuela, here there is work and there are opportunities for everything and everyone,” Cabello reportedly said. 

The majority of those fleeing are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, having been unable to afford or access basic living resources back home. The United States is one of many countries to provide funds for humanitarian missions designed to help migrants arriving in Colombia and Brazil.

Cabello also made reference to reports that some Venezuelans are being mistreated in the countries they have migrated to. In developing countries like Brazil, the flood of Venezuelans crossing the border has triggered public protests and a xenophobic backlash.

“Come here, this is where there are opportunities and fair treatment, here you have your family, here you have your parents, your brothers, here you are not going to be mistreated,” he continued.

The 55-year-old Maduro henchman, identified as a prominent drug trafficker by the U.S. government, also doubled down on his claim that news reports of Venezuelan migration have been exaggerated or falsified by Colombia and the United States.

“It’s a great plan, I have pointed it out before, everything seems ready for lights, camera action,” he explained, “Hollywood types seek to make Venezuela the villain in the film and that they are preparing the good Rambo that will fix ‘their’ evils.”

Cabello’s reference to a “good Rambo” may have been a reference to a possible military intervention led by the United States against the Maduro regime. President Donald Trump has previously floated such an idea, although regional leaders reportedly rejected the plan. It is not clear whether Colombia’s new president, hardline conservative Ivan Duque, would lend his support to such a step.

Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), whom Cabello has allegedly targeted for assassination, said there was now a “very strong argument” for the United States using its military in Venezuela as a national security measure.

“I believe that the Armed Forces of the United States are only used in the event of a threat to national security,” Rubio told Univisión. “I believe that there is a very strong argument that can be made at this time that Venezuela and the Maduro regime has become a threat to the region and even to the United States.”

Cabello, a close ally of socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and currently vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), recently had $800 million confiscated by the United States believed to be earned through drug trafficking. He has also been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for corruption and mineral smuggling, thus allowing authorities to freeze his American bank accounts and seize all his property.

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