VENEZUELA – This week Venezuela woke up to the news of a civic and military uprising led by opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by over 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate interim president. They called it Operation Liberty, a movement to remove the discredited president Nicolás Maduro from power. Chaos and uncertainty spread through the streets of Caracas, with confrontations breaking out in various areas.
The government of Maduro claims to have put down the resistance and the final outcome remains uncertain. But in the midst of the turmoil, Pastor Carlos Vielma, Vice President of the Union of Christian Churches of Venezuela, sent out an urgent plea for Christians everywhere to pray.
Venezuelan Pastor Carlos Vielma:
“My petition for the Lord’s global church is to pray, pray for Venezuela. Today there were violent acts that left several people injured, from bullets and shotguns.
Some people who had gathered on the road were run over by a military truck.
The situation is really very precarious right now. So it’s important for all of the people of god to pray that we might have a peaceful outcome, an outcome that will allow us regain freedom, justice, peace and democracy.
Remember that the most important help for us now is prayer, for Venezuela.”
UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency states the following statistics:
- Over 3 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide
- 375,000 asylum-seekers from Venezuela in 2014–2018
- About 1 million living under other legal forms of stay in the Americas
With over 3 million Venezuelans now living abroad, the vast majority in countries within South America, this is the largest exodus in the recent history of Latin America.
Ongoing political, human rights and socio-economic developments in Venezuela compel growing numbers of children, women and men to leave for neighbouring countries and beyond. Many arrive scared, tired and in dire need of assistance.
To read more news on the Refugee Crisis on Missions Box, go here.