Syrian Refugee Crisis: Brazil, Argentina Among Latin American Countries Welcoming Syrian Diaspora
Responding to the current migrant crisis in which thousands of Syrians are fleeing from their war-torn country for safety, several Latin American nations have decided to extend a welcome to the desperate refugees.
As previously reported, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced on Monday that her country would welcome "an important number of refugees." The Guardian reports they will take in around 100 families. A press release from the Chilean Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that the country has issued over 277 visas between 2014 and 2015.
Venezuela, which has recently blocked several border crossing areas with their neighboring nation of Colombia, has announced that they are prepared to receive 20,000 Syrians.
"I want 20,000 Syrians to come, Syrian families to our Venezuelan homeland to share this land of peace, this land of Christ, and of Bolívar, to work with us and to contribute to ... the development of this magic land," President Maduro said, according to a press release.
Brazil has likewise said it would continue to welcome people seeking refuge from the Syrian civil war. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff expressed her desire to “reiterate the government’s willingness to welcome those who, driven from their homeland, want to come live, work and contribute to the prosperity and peace of Brazil. Especially in these difficult times, these times of crisis, we have to welcome refugees with open arms.”
According to the Guardian, Argentina and Uruguay have both created programs designed to help resettle Syrian refugees since the war started back in 2011. Since then, over 4 million Syrians have fled the country.
For Uruguay, the resettlement plans have not gone smoothly. The country took in five Syrian families in 2014, offering them housing, healthcare, education and financial support. A year later, 42 of the refuges are asking to leave, complaining that the country is too expensive for them and that they have not been able to find work.
Javier Miranda, director of human rights for the Uruguayan presidency, has addressed his country’s duty to accept refugees, saying that taking in Syrian refugees is a way of repaying a debt to the world.
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