Columbian President has announced that Venezuelans will have temporary protected status for the next ten years.
The decision covers more than 1.7 million Venezuelans who have fled to Columbia in the last few years.
Venezuelans who entered Columbia without permission before January 31 will be eligible for legalisation and those who already have legal status will have a decade to reapply for permission to stay in the country.
The government’s move has been welcomed by multiple sectors including the opposition. Some have criticised the move and has said that President took this decision to win the upcoming elections.
Venezuela is currently under the authoritarian rule of President Maduro, who belongs to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
The country has been facing problems since the mid-2010s when the global boom in commodities ended. As a result of this, the country slipped into an economic crisis and entered recession in 2014.
Among Latin America’s poorest countries, its oil-dependent economy had grown significantly during the boom, and massive investments in social spending during that time by President Hugo Chávez.
After the economic collapse, the crime rate in the country doubled and inflation multiplied in a situation that was made worse by Western sanctions.
Maduro has blamed the US sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company and government for the economic problems that the country is currently riddled with, which include hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, and electricity blackouts.
According to UN estimates, over 90 percent of the country was living in poverty in April 2019 and an estimated 4.8 million Venezuelans have fled the country for other places in Latin America and for the Caribbean countries as of February 2020.