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  • Venezuelan Minister Samuel Moncada argued that

    Venezuelan Minister Samuel Moncada argued that "there is only talk of a migratory crisis" in the case of Venezuela. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 February 2018

"It's well known we have around five million Colombians and the figure given by Colombia of 550,000 Venezuelans immigrating there is unlikely," the minister said.

Venezuelan Vice Minister for North America Samuel Moncada says Colombian figures registering the influx of Venezuelan immigrants are greatly exaggerated.

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During a press conference with the Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday, the minister denounced the claims of Colombian officials detailing hundreds of thousands of immigrants streaming across the shared border.

"It's well known that we have around five million Colombians and the figure given by Colombia of 550,000 Venezuelans immigrating there is unlikely," Moncada said.

"There is no way to prove it: they only register who passes through the border, not who returns later or is Colombian or a tourist."

Seventy percent of those traveling to Colombia return after a day of shopping or once their temporary jobs have come to an end, the minister said.

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"They are inflated figures, where (border police) often double count," he continued, highlighting the "giant manipulation" of data which casts a dark light on Venezuela and, consequently, its political affairs.

Moncada argued that "there is only talk of a migratory crisis" in Venezuela's case, while "there are millions of Mexicans in the United States and nobody speaks of the migratory crisis, or of Colombians in Venezuela, and nobody speaks of the migratory crisis.

"There is a country building a giant wall (the US on the border with Mexico) and this organization is blind about this," he said, referring to the OAS resolution to pressure Venezuela to cancel its April 22 presidential elections.

"We do not deny that there are Venezuelans who are leaving," said Moncada, but he countered that the figures being given by other countries, such as Peru, "are crazy."

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