The Minister Counselor of the Venezuelan Embassy in the US, Gustavo Marcano and the Director of Consular Affairs, Brian Fincheltub, announced the release of 843 Venezuelans who were detained between 2019 and 2020 in the United States for immigration reasons and who fled Venezuela because of the complex humanitarian emergency caused by Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship.
In the balance provided by the commission of the Venezuelan embassy after a visit they made to the Broward Transitional Center, in Florida, it was revealed that out of 1,100 Venezuelan citizens who had been detained for immigration reasons, mostly in the states of Florida, Louisiana , Texas and Georgia, to date only 257 remain in detention, Fincheltub reported.
“Thanks to the joint effort with family members, probono lawyers, NGOs, journalists and immigration authorities, we have been able to provide assistance to Venezuelans detained in the United States so that they can undergo their processes free. Thanks to this, detention times were reduced to less than 3 months, compared to 10 to 14 months of detention 1 year ago. These Venezuelans are not here because they want to, but because they fled Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship,” added the Director of Consular Affairs.
Faced with the situation of Venezuelans deprived of liberty, Fincheltub reiterated that the Interim Government of President Juan Guaidó continues to monitor the cases and promote the approval of a TPS or other mechanism for the protection and migration relief for Venezuelans, while “we manage to resolve the crisis in Venezuela”.
According to the conditions of the 40 Venezuelans detained in the Broward Transitional Center, the Minister Counselor of the Venezuelan Embassy in the US, Gustavo Marcano highlighted that 32 are men and 8 women “who fled because they could not support their family due to the humanitarian crisis generated by the regime or because they were persecuted by the dictatorship. We saw Venezuelan professionals, teachers, nurses who were persecuted for the simple fact of exercising their union activity in their area. They are Venezuelans who have not committed any crime or who have hurt anyone. Today we brought them a message of hope and especially let them know that they are not alone.”
From outside the detention center, Marcano thanked the bipartisan support of the United States and the administration of President Donald Trump for always being attentive to the cases that were presented to DHS, ICE, CBP and USCIS, which were analyzed and treated in accordance with the Law. Also, to the US Congress for approving this mechanism in a bipartisan manner at the time, and to Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez for defending before the Senate the need for a TPS for Venezuelans in the US.
Marcano recalled that the President-Elect of the United States has committed to the approval of a TPS for Venezuelans in the coming months.
“We continue to push for an immigration protection mechanism Venezuelans to become effective soon for the well-being of thousands of brothers who need to work and live productively while residing in the United States. It is a juncture, they want to return later to Venezuela to contribute to its reconstruction.”
He reiterated that Interim President Juan Guaidó and Ambassador Carlos Vecchio have insisted that the international community “must act under the shared Responsibility To Protect (R2P) to end the crisis, to stop so much pain and restore freedom and democracy in Venezuela.”
The officials recalled that the only cause of this situation is “Nicolás Maduro’s regime, the criminal and genocidal dictatorship that does not hesitate to commit crimes against humanity” and that is why they reaffirmed their commitment to fight for “a transition that will lead to free transparent presidential and parliamentary elections.”
It should be noted that to date, 5.4 million Venezuelans have emigrated, almost 10% of those to the United States, while 9.3 million suffer from food insecurity according to the United Nations. The cases of human rights violations, persecution and torture by the State security forces that have been registered in the country today are recognized by the prosecutor of the ICC and the UN FFM as crimes against humanity, reason why it is urgent that efforts be added to achieve the protection of Venezuelans in the United States and other latitudes, as well as the freedom of Venezuela.