A Border Crisis of Epic Proportions

(Bloomberg) -- The vast numbers of people fleeing Venezuela as it slides into ruin under Nicolas Maduro have reached European proportions. Flooding into Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, the refugees are spurring a humanitarian, economic and political crisis.

Since 2015 more than 1.6 million have left, and the United Nations estimates about 5,000 Venezuelans now cross the porous border each day. South America hasn’t seen that sort of population displacement for decades, if ever, and it’s taxing both the resources and patience of Venezuela’s neighbors.

Peru now requires Venezuelans entering the country to have a valid passport; yesterday it declared an emergency on parts of its border with Ecuador. Brazil’s President Michel Temer has authorized the deployment of the army in the border state of Roraima. Many locals have pitched in to help the refugees, but some also complain that drug trafficking and prostitution are rising, and even larger economies like Brazil will find the crisis a stretch.

The situation highlights the dilemma about how to deal with Venezuela itself. Maduro has endured, despite bringing his country to its knees. And while his neighbors wrestle with the fallout, there’s no indication they can or will do much about the regime causing it all.

A Border Crisis of Epic Proportions

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A Border Crisis of Epic Proportions

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