CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela’s government on Monday accused the United Nations of exaggerating its migration crisis to justify “international intervention”.
Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said the government had complained to UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres that “individual officials” have been portraying “a normal migratory flow as a humanitarian crisis to justify an intervention”.
The UN says 1.6 million Venezuelans since 2015 have fled economic meltdown in the country, which has been hit by shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine.
Venezuela is in a fourth year of recession while the International Monetary Fund has predicted inflation in the South American country will reach one million percent this year.
The flood of migrants abandoning their country to seek a better life elsewhere has left countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru creaking under the strain.
Speaking at a press conference, Rodriguez said UN officials had been using data from “enemy countries” and presenting it “as if it was their own.”
Rodriguez didn’t identify who those officials or enemy states were, though.
Some 13 Latin American countries began a two-day meeting in Quito on Monday to discuss the Venezuelan migration crisis, a coordinated regional response and an appeal for outside funding.
“The worst humanitarian crisis the world is going through right now is that cause by NATO and European Union countries in Africa and the Middle East,” added Rodriguez, who called on top EU diplomat Federica Mogherini to stamp out “fake news.”
She pointed to a new UN report that stated nearly 1,600 migrants had died or gone missing in 2018 on “the way to Europe.”
Rodriguez branded neighbouring Colombia “pimps” and claimed it is seeking international funds in order to use Venezuela to “live” off donations.