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Latam Brief: U.S. to resume deporting Venezuelans, migrations, Seeking Guaidó’s arrest (October 6, 2023)

Venezuelan migrants, some expelled from the U.S. to Mexico under Title 42 and others who have not yet crossed after the new immigration policies, stand at a camp on the banks of the Rio Bravo river in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
Latin America Daily Briefing: Venezuelan migrants, some expelled from the U.S. to Mexico under Title 42 and others who have not yet crossed after the new immigration policies, stand at a camp on the banks of the Rio Bravo river in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico November 21, 2022. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

The U.S. Biden administration will resume deporting migrants to Venezuela. (CBS News)

The announcement comes as illegal crossings along the U.S. southern border have increased significantly. Venezuelans, in particular, have been crossing more often in recent months, with 50,000 arrested in September, reports the New York Times.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have trekked through the treacherous jungle region known as the Darien Gap to reach the U.S.-Mexico border in the past two years, reports Reuters.

The move follows the recent announcement of a temporary protected status for many Venezuelans already in the U.S. (See Sept. 21’s briefs.) It is part of a larger administration strategy of providing legal pathways for people arriving and to crackdown on illegal crossings, reports the Associated Press.

Previously, the Biden administration had said it could not deport Venezuelans because of the absence of diplomatic relations with Caracas. The statement on yesterday said the Venezuelan authorities had decided to accept the return of their nationals.

Biden officials who briefed reporters on the plans yesterday did not say how many deportation flights they planned to send, and declined to discuss negotiations with the Maduro government, reports the Washington Post.

The announcement comes as the Biden administration’s border plan “is at risk of collapse amid a new wave of illegal crossings, intensifying strains on U.S. cities and leaving authorities struggling to care for record numbers of families arriving with children,” reports the Washington Post.

More Venezuela migration

  • “As many countries across the Americas (and globe) struggle to receive and integrate newcomers, Brazil’s experience responding to Venezuelan migration offers an interesting case, albeit not without its own flaws. Over 90% of Venezuelans in Brazil have regular status, and the country legally confers equal access to the universal health care system and education—regardless of immigration status—as well as relatively easy access to work permits and social assistance programs,” writes Jordi Amaral in the Americas Migration Brief.

Venezuela seeks Guaidó’s arrest

Venezuelan authorities are seeking to arrest former opposition leader Juan Guaidó, accusing him of had using the resources of the state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, for his own benefit. Guaidó denied the accusations on social media, saying that “this is how the dictatorship’s machine for promoting lies works.” He is currently in exile in the United States. (New York Times, AFP)

The The Public Ministry said in a statement yesterday that the government would ask Interpol to issue a “red notice” to governments worldwide asking that he be detained.

The announcement comes days before Venezuela’s opposition is set to hold a primary vote to choose a candidate to run against Maduro in potential elections in 2024, reports the Washington Post.

“The fact that the regime waited to announce this, now that he’s outside the country and has lost popular support, shows that Maduro no longer views him as a threat,” Geoff Ramsey, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, told the Washington Post. “The government has now officially placed Guaidó in the same category as other exiled opposition politicians: effectively banned from returning but no longer relevant enough to be seen as untouchable.”

More Venezuela

  • Engagement with Nicolás Maduro’s government is not necessarily wrong, but “the question is how to ensure this conversation paves the way to transition from the current authoritarian government to something closer to a democratic opening and the eventual reinstitutionalization of this devastated nation,” writes Tamara Taraciuk in Americas Quarterly. “It should not be a tactic to buy time and perpetuate those in power.”

Stateless Haitian descendants at risk of DR deportation

About 130,000 descendants of Haitian migrants living in the Dominican Republic lack citizenship despite, being born there. “Now, human rights groups and Dominicans themselves warn that they are being targeted for expulsion, in an intensified deportation strategy that the government says is aimed at those in the country illegally,” reports the New York Times.

The status of these people, many with birth certificates are considered essentially stateless, is the result of a 10-year-old court order ruling that children of undocumented migrants are not entitled to citizenship. The measure severely affected the population of Haitian descendants, which has experienced a crisis of statelessness ever since. (El Espectador) Many of those children walled off from affordable health care, career opportunities, higher education or even high school diplomas.

IACHR called for the Dominican Republic “to take effective action to restore the right to a nationality for those individuals who remain stateless.” The situation has pushed children out of school and into the labor market, and put them at risk of abusive relationships and humman trafficking. (Press release, via Americas Migration Brief)


  • Three doctors have been killed and another wounded in a beachside shooting in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian officials believe the attack may have been politically motivated — one of the victims was the brother of a leftist lawmaker — and federal police will join the investigation, reports the Associated Press.

  • “The killing of three physicians along a popular tourist beach is sure to inflame the divisive debate over violence and safety in the largest nation in Latin America,” reports the Washington Post.

  • Two of the world’s leading livestock feed companies — Cargill and ADM — helped to scupper an industry attempt to ban the trade in soya beans grown on deforested and threatened ecosystem lands in South America — including Brazil’s Amazon forest, the Pantanal wetlands and the Cerrado savanna — according to a new report by Mighty Earth. (Guardian)

  • “The sudden die-off of more than a hundred Amazonian river dolphins in recent days has prompted fears that rising global heat could be passing the tolerance threshold of species in vulnerable areas,” reports the Guardian.


  • Climate change in the high Andes is affecting alpaca fleece production, and many herders in Peru’s mountain region are struggling to survive, reports the Guardian.


  • Nicaraguan Indigenous Yatama party authorities say they have been barred by the Ortega government from participating in elections, leaving the ruling Sandinistas with no opposition in upcoming local elections in two regions. Police also arrested and jailed two party leaders, according to Yatama, which called the detentions baseless and demanded their release, reports Reuters.

Regional Relations

  • “Brazil is bringing an urgent message to next week’s meetings of the International Monetary Fund: Western-backed lenders must give developing nations more say if they want to remain relevant,” reports Bloomberg.

  • “Relations between the United States and Mexico are at a critical juncture,” reports the New York Times, with U.S. officials pushing Mexico for actions to stem migration and fentanyl, while Mexico wants the U.S. to stanch the flow of weapons southward.

  • Illegal guns are a major issue in the Caribbean, reports the Economist.


  • South American governments are trying to curb illegal fishing, reports the Economist.

Jordana Timerman / Latin America Daily Briefing

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