Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno called on the United Nations and the international community to find a solution to remove the “despotic” socialist regime in Venezuela.
Moreno began by acknowledging the some 500,000 Venezuelans have fled to Ecuador amid the worst political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in their country’s history.
“We have welcomed some 500,000 Venezuelans brothers and sisters, victims of the worst exodus of our continent,” he said. “It is now the job of the United Nations to find a definitive solution to the crisis in Venezuela.”
In addition to the half a million Venezuelans in Ecuador, the country’s diaspora extends across the region, with Colombia taking in over one million people since 2015. According to recent data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at least four million Venezuelans have left their country since 2015 and, of these, 3.1 million remain in Latin America.
Despite leading a nominally left-wing administration, Moreno has joined the United States and the majority of Western democracies in denouncing the criminality of the Maduro regime and has recognized the legitimacy of Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó.
“Our brothers and sisters in Venezuela say they have no food, no healthcare, that education has been cast aside,” he continued. “They leave their land because they are desperate … They do so because they have to. It is a diaspora created by a despotic government lacking any humanism.”
Moreno recently acknowledged the immense cost of resettling so many Venezuelan migrants, with his government having spent over $500 million on providing them with basic living and humanitarian assistance.
Last month, Moreno’s government faced criticism from other countries and human rights organizations after introducing new rules to prevent Venezuelan migrants from entering the country without a passport, leaving many stranded in neighboring Colombia. However, Moreno contends that the current influx of around 3,000 people a day surpasses his country’s “reception capacity.”
“In Ecuador, despite our insufficiencies of resources, we have attended to all those who reached our land up until the month of August,” he said on Wednesday. “Today, in this worldwide democratic forum, we call upon everyone to have a dialogue with the victims of this conflict, to help them to find a way out of a disaster created by an irresponsible de facto government. ”