AMERICA/VENEZUELA – Migrant Day, the Social Pastoral Care-Caritas recalls that over 5 million Venezuelans have emigrated to different countries

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Caracas – Every year on the last Sunday of September, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated. “Towards an ever wider ‘we’ ” is the motto chosen by Pope Francis for the day of September 26, with the aim of becoming aware of the global situation in the face of the challenge of migration and of how the future is taking shape in this reality.
The Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela in a note sent to Fides, stresses that this year remains characterized by the adverse impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had around the world, with a significant impact on the most vulnerable groups in society. For this reason, the Holy Father makes an appeal to journey together towards an ever wider “we” to all men and women “for the sake of renewing the human family, building together a future of justice and peace, and ensuring that no one is left behind”.
According to official UNHCR data, there are 5.4 million refugees and migrants who from Venezuela are spread around the world. Some experts describe this phenomenon as the largest migratory wave the region has experienced in the past fifty years. This reality responds to the search for alternatives to the progressive deterioration of access to basic services, economic collapse, hyperinflation, hunger, lack of work.
Those who emigrated during the pandemic have had to face increasingly difficult integration conditions in the countries of destination, with difficulties in accessing formal work and in regularizing their migratory status, which has led to men, women and children being subjected to labor exploitation, extortion and kidnapping by human trafficking networks.
In this difficult scenario, the Pope recalls that “the Church is called to go out into the streets of every existential periphery in order to heal wounds and to seek out the straying, without prejudice or fear, without proselytising, but ready to widen her tent to embrace everyone”. Accepting this appeal, the Social Pastoral Care-Caritas Venezuela wants to present the reality of Venezuelan migrants and the whole world through a series of materials created for dissemination on social media platforms, because as the Pope writes, “We must all strive to tear down the walls that separate us and build bridges that favor the culture of encounter, aware of the intimate interconnection that exists between us”.