Venezuelan Refugees Walk Hundreds of Miles to Return Home Amid COVID-19 Crisis

CUCUTA, Columbia — More than five million Venezuelans have fled their home country since 2015 due to the crushing effects of hyperinflation, unrest, and rampant crime.

Kemi Olunloyo

But now some of those refugees, who sought a better life in other countries, are now becoming victims of the global coronavirus pandemic.

In early 2019, CBN News made five trips to the border region between Colombia and Venezuela, reporting on the masses escaping Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship.

As hundreds of thousands poured across the frontier into Colombia, they pushed the town of Cucuta to the breaking point. Streets were choked with desperate refugees, hospitals were overwhelmed with pregnant Venezuelan girls, and prostitution was rampant.  

With very few options, many Venezuelans simply started walking — hoping to find work more than 500 miles south in Bogota and beyond. It was an arduous journey, and Operation Blessing was there to help.

Operation Blessing’s Diego Traverso said, “Most of the migrants are walking uphill for several hours in very bad conditions to reach Pamplona first, and then go to Bucaramanga or big cities…bigger cities than Cucuta.”

They say if you want to understand somebody you have to walk a mile in their shoes. So CBN News traveled out to a busy highway with a family walking from Cucuta, Colombia all the way to Bogota. And it’s very dangerous with lots of big trucks going by.

In this case, the problem with walking a mile in somebody’s shoes is that so many of these people don’t have any shoe

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