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Ecuadorean government, after a delay, allowed the departure of planes meant to help Venezuelan migrants return home, sponsored by the Bolivarian government of Nicolas Maduro.
After a delay the Ecuadorean government headed by President Lenin Moreno, has given departure permission, on Saturday afternoon, for three planes repatriating 270 Venezuelan migrants from the Andean country as part of the Plan Vuelta a la Patria (Return to the Homeland Plan) sponsored by the government of Nicolas Maduro.
"The embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Ecuador denounces to the world that the Ecuadorean state hinders flights 23, 24 and 25 of the Return to the Homeland Plan scheduled for this Saturday, January 26, instructed by President Nicolas Maduro," stated the Venezuelan embassy in Ecuador.
According to the embassy, the Venezuelan people ready to leave Ecuador are waiting at the La Carolina Park, hoping that the measure by the Ecuadorean state will be reversed
"It is a violation of human rights that a permit from the Ecuadorean civil aviation General Director of Civil Aviation of Ecuador (DGACE) separates 270 Venezuelans from their families in their homeland," stated the embassy.
Along with the message, a letter from the General Director of Civil Aviation of Ecuador, Carlos Javier Alvarez Mantilla, was attached, in which he confirmed that "the Venezuelan request to facilitate the flights in question cannot be met."
During 2018, the Vuelta a la Patria Plan helped around 12,000 Venezuelan citizens return home from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Chile and Panama.
This last push on the Plan was rushed after a series of xenophobic attacks started in Ecuador last week, after a woman was stabbed allegedly by a Venezuelan citizen. The 22-year-old girl was murdered in the northern Ecuadorean city of Ibarra, allegedly by a man of Venezuelan origin, who held her hostage for 90 minutes in front of police officers and numerous onlookers.
Moreno's government issued a statement regarding the incident saying that measures would be taken to police Venezuelans in Ecuador while requiring criminal records for any Venezuelans wishing to enter Ecuador. Many saw the reaction as an endorsement of Xenophobic tendencies in the country against Venezuelans instead of addressing the actual issue of femicides and violence against women.