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October 14, 2022
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Former President Varela asks the government to reevaluate the visa issue for Venezuelans

The former President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, spoke about the current situation in the country in terms of security, economy, governance and, above all, irregular migration.

For the former president, the government currently has many challenges, starting with the reactivation of the economy and the generation of jobs, which have been seen in a complex situation due to the pandemic and the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. authorities are focused more on political issues than on public investment activity and “more social” infrastructure.

He said that as a citizen he would have liked to see, at least, the beginning of the construction of the fourth bridge over the Canal and the viability of line 3 of the subway; However, he recognized that the moments that the country has experienced and has had to face President Laurentino Cortizo, are complex and perhaps that (pandemic and conflict between Russia and Ukraine) have not allowed him to make further progress.

Regarding security, he expressed that the situation is “very complicated, insecurity has increased” due to drug trafficking, which through the Panamanian ports has been strengthened and expanded towards Europe.

“We have to face them and unfortunately it is not only the work of the Minister, or of the Police, it is the work of the entire State, starting with the President, his Assembly, his deputies, the business class, all citizens,” he said. He also focused in what is happening with irregular migration, where between 1,500 and 2,000 migrants enter daily through the Darién jungle.

Faced with this, Varela said that what is happening in Darién is “something very sad” while recalling that in his administration helicopters were sent with humanitarian aid, they were followed up and the Los Planes shelter in Gualaca was used to attend to their needs. needs.

He indicated that the figures of daily migrants are impressive “which gives a lot of pain” for everything that these people must face.

He added that although there are Haitian, African and other migrants from other parts of the world, the majority who cross Darién are Venezuelans, for which he considers that the Government should reconsider or reevaluate the issue of visas for Venezuelans to try to curb this irregular displacement a little.

“I prefer to see those families boarding a plane than dying in the jungle, I think Panama should evaluate this issue of requiring a visa from Venezuela,” he said.

He added that the support of the governments of the United States and Central America should be requested to combat this situation together.

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