Most people know about Venezuela because of a string of Major League shortstops, from Luis Aparicio to David Concepcion to others.
New data shows Venezuelans are leading asylum requests to the United States for the first time, as the middle class in the country are fleeing the crashing, oil-dependent economy.
The U.S. government’s Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that 18,155 Venezuelans submitted asylum requests last year, a 150 percent increase over 2015 and six times the level seen in 2014.
Data showed China in second place, with 17,745 requests coming from the country’s citizens.
In 2014, a large number of Venezuelans sought asylum following months of protests seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
All of this about people seeking asylum has a familiar tone to Cubans who went through a similar experience years ago.
Why are they seeking asylum?
It starts with a failed state, a country that does not work anymore. It was not long ago that Venezuela was a destination for people looking for a better life. Today, they are desperately trying to leave.
Secondly, a failed economy, where the shelves are empty and a loaf of bread is a luxury.
Third, indifference from Latin American leaders who refuse to call for change in Venezuela.
Once upon a time, we looked forward to that young kid with a glove destined for the major leagues. Today, we greet Venezuelans at the airport leaving their failed homeland.
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