Boa Vista; – Citing the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, and an escalating refugee problem that has reached epic proportions, Brazil has decided to deploy more troops to its border with Venezuela.
Guyanese considers Brazil an important ally in their stand-off with Venezuela over its claim to the Essequibo.
However, contrary to some reports circulating in Guyana and on social media, which stated the Brazilian army was coming to protect the border between Guyana and Venezuela, one source at the Brazilian Embassy in Georgetown was unable to confirm the accuracy of that reports.
But despite this, any deployment of Brazilian troops along the border with Venezuela in any form or location would at least carry some form of symbolic comfort to the Guyanese as a whole.
Nonetheless, according to Brazil’s Defense Minister Raul Jungman, the Brazilian army will be doubling its troops at the border between Brazil and Venezuela (and not necessarily between Venezuela and Guyana) as Brasilia move forward to take charge of an escalating refugee crisis, that has now seen thousands of Venezuelans fleeing across the border into Brazil in search of food and medicine.
The Minister maintains that since it is a humanitarian crisis, Brazil has decided to open up its border to assist the depressed Venezuelans, who have been fleeing from an economic crisis, that has since resulted in the loss of dozens of lives.
However, the need for an increased presence of the Brazilian military was cited, since the number of refugees that will be coming in can become too overwhelming to manage at relief points of entry.
“This is a humanitarian drama. The Venezuelans are being expelled from their country by hunger and the lack of jobs and medicine,” said Jungmann, who was addressing a number of journalists that had followed him on a visit to the Border State of Roraima.
He added that the Federal government would now take charge of the situation, and would launch a census to determine how many Venezuela’s had fled to Brazil since the crisis began.
The Minister also stated that the objective now is to help those fleeing from the crisis to temporarily settle in Brazil, where the government will also help them to find some form of employment.
Referring to the sad fact that hundreds of Venezuelans were practically sleeping in the streets of Boa Vista, Jungmann added that the Brazilian government is seeking to establish additional shelters, since three refugee camps that are co-managed by the United Nations are already filled up.
And with Colombia closing its borders, the decision to take in the many more thousands of refugees that are fleeing from Venezuela would not be an easy undertaking for Brazil.
But being the superpower nation in South America, many other countries in the region are expecting Brazil to step up to the front, and take control of the Venezuelan refugee crisis, which has been affecting smaller and less economically strengthened border countries like Guyana.
Though Guyana has an ongoing border dispute with Venezuela, most of Guyanese soldiers and police have been lenient enough to let them in, as they come I search of food, medicine and other forms of support.
Guyana’s President David’s Granger has recently extended a conciliatory message to Venezuela which indicated that Guyana wants a peaceful settlement to their border dispute with Caracas.