The number of Venezuelans fleeing to Brazil on foot nearly tripled this week, after opposition leader Juan Guaido led an attempt to force President Nicolas Maduro from power.
CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco has more from Brazil.
A growing number of Venezuelans migrants are rushing to the city of Pacaraima, to escape violence, hunger, and uncertainty.
The border city, located in the remote state of Roraima, is the only official point of entry to Brazil. According to the Brazilian government, 850 Venezuelans arrived on foot to Pacaraima on Tuesday alone, compared to the usual number that ranges between 250 and 300 per day.
Even though the border has been closed on the Venezuelan side since February, migrants have been coming to Brazil by crossing through clandestine trails.
Brazil has received more than 200,000 Venezuelans since 2017. Some 85,000 of them have lodged asylum claims, while some 40,000 have received temporary resident visas, according to official data.
Many more are likely to come, as Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has asked Congress to approve nearly $60 million for emergency assistance to Venezuelan citizens.
Though Brazil is among more than 50 countries that have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s president, Bolsonaro said this week that the country’s likelihood of participating in any armed intervention in Venezuela is very slim or near- zero and that change should come through negotiation.
Brazil’s new arrivals from Venezuela, meanwhile, include military personnel. According to the president’s office, some 25 Venezuelan troops have sought asylum inside Brazil’s embassy in Caracas.