Sport Venezuelans, pebble in Colombian shoe

18:30  15 may  2021
18:30  15 may  2021 Source:   liberation.fr

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Dans un camp de réfugiés vénézuéliens, à Arauquita (Colombie), le 28 mars. © Luisa Gonzalez In a Venezuelan refugee camp in Arauquita (Colombia) on March 28.

After the translation into French of you speak like the night (1), a novel written in 2018 between Colombia and Venezuela, the readers that the book met beyond the Atlantic were asked a question that The bushy tree of literature, over time, divided multiple answers. The question is: is it possible that there is a xenophobic feeling between Colombians and Venezuelans? The answer, as immediate as regrettable: yes. The Colombo-Venezuelan news extends and resonates into the titles of the international press: "How Colombia uses xenophobia as a political shield" , "Armed disorder on the border between Colombia and Venezuela" , etc.

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Yes, xenophobia, this throbbing fear of the unknown, feeds on the pain of the two neighboring peoples, that sister republics were once called. Neither a common language nor a liberating bolívar in common, nor even the common blood deliver the Colombians and Venezuelans of hatred abroad. A hatred that may find his origins in the 1970s and 1990 when Venezuela has seen Colombian refugees arrive that fleeing poverty and armed conflict. A hatred that is likely to grow again and again on the arrival of every Venezuelan migrant who flees dictatorship, hunger and death that deprivation and lack of drugs.

For fear, one generalizes

Colombians and Venezuelans suffer, each in their own way, poverty, social and economic inequality: on this point, the comparisons come and go, just like the argument that flows. And the turmoil intensifies: the Venezuelan is no longer just a migrant in Colombia, but a refugee of the current armed conflict in the plains of Venezuela, from which the echo of destruction: guerrillas, dead, narcotrafic, dissidence, complicity of the armed forces.

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little by little, the neighbor of the sister republic turned into a pebble in the shoe that only aggravates the problems of a host country faced with its own social and political crisis. As often happens to the epic of pandemic and scourge, the one who holds a little power attempts to find scapegoats to justify unemployment, delinquency, lack of hope. Why ? Unfortunately, to survive, some migrants from Venezuela to choose the fatal path of delinquency, while the majority aspires to work and others come to beg for lack of alternative.

Fear makes us forget that crime is an individual who commits him, not a nationality. For fear, we generalize and condemn the Venezuelan, the Veneco, this pebble in the shoe. Where can find refuge innocent?

Text translated from Spanish (Venezuela) by Delphine Valentin

(1) You speak like the night , Varière Rojas Manrique, translated by Alexandra Carrasco, Editions Rivages, 2021.

The anger driving Colombia's protest movement isn't going away anytime soon .
What started as a tax reform proposal to help ease the strain of the pandemic on the economy and balance government finances ended with people taking to the streets to express their discontent. © Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images A man is arrested during clashes with the police following a protest against a tax reform bill launched by Colombian President Ivan Duque in Medellin, Colombia on April 29, 2021.

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