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  • Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges

    Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges | Photo: EFE

Published 3 October 2017
Julio Borges is the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

In what could be considered as the application of migratory sanctions against Venezuela, Donald Trump incorporated Venezuela into a new edition of his insoluble executive order against migration of citizens from various countries.

Beyond government officials

The "blacklist" of Indonesian countries and their citizens by the United States was released on Sunday, September 24, by the promulgation of a new immigration ban following the expiration of the first ban decree, which was published 90 days earlier and expired on the same day. This time, Trump included more countries in the decree as promised.

The new executive order of the Republican leader maintains the restriction of travel for people coming from countries with Muslim majority populations: Iran, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria. However, this time it has adde a ban on North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, practically stigmatizing the Venezuelan people as "terrorist elements" with the xenophobic and racist policy of the White House which referred to the citizens and refugees of those countries  in the first injunction.

The restrictions for Venezuela are theoretically limited to officials of a long list of government entities and their families. As “reasons” for the ban in this specific case, the long document signed by Trump agrees that the South American country "has adopted the standards" imposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but argues that Caracas "does not cooperate by verifying that its citizens do not pose a threat to national security or public safety."

In practical terms, this infamy places the Venezuelans under suspicion and also alleges  that Venezuela and its government are outlaws,  "protective of terrorism."

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The suspension of authorization for travel to the United States is directed at officials and relatives of officials of the Ministry of Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace, the Ministry of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs, the Administrative Service for Identification, Migration and Aliens (Saime) the Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigations Corps (Cicpc) and the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin).

The ban for travel officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is particularly sensitive as it virtually attempts to paralyze the Bolivarian foreign agenda for which officials must often tread on U.S. soil where unfortunately, multilateral institutions reside.

The quarrelsome and covert rhetoric of anti-Chavism always tries to mask the sanctions by saying that they "only affect Maduro and the Chavistas." This reference has already begun an attempt to minimize and trivialize the real  scope and effects of the migration sanctions.

But Trump's decree deliberately leaves some ambiguous pointers and paragraphs which are not at all innocent. The regulation warns that Venezuelans (all without distinction) who have a visa to enter the U.S. must be "subject to additional measures" to ensure that the information they have provided to the U.S. government remains in effect. However, it does not specify what those additional measures might be.

That is to say, this element opens the door for any immigration officer at U.S. airports  to arbitrarily deny entry of any Venezuelan deemed to be “under suspicion” based upon that officer’s personal  criteria. Thus the decree can even be applied to Venezuelan citizens who are neither, state officials nor members of their families. 

The regulation warns Venezuelans holding a U.S. visa that they are subject to additional measures and to keep their information current making it possible for the U.S. to require more information from those who wish to obtain or renew their visas. In addition, the wording of the decree makes it possible for the U.S. to reduce the period of time allowed in visas and in general, making the procedures more  strict and complex.

Those who suffer under the latest gringo migration ban can shed their tears and drop their insults on the lap of Julio Borges

In the context of the stigmatizing and coercive immigration measure, It should be noted that any Venezuelan even with an entry visa to the U.S. for business purposes (Type B1), or for travel, leisure and tourism purposes (B2), or visa for both purposes (B1 / B2), that citizen is framed in a policy of being turned away at a U.S. airport "for strict reasons of internal security favorable to the United States."

Also, by virtue of the fact that they are citizens of the targeted country, there will be a monumental increase  in an immigrant’s anxiety, "What if I go too far or make a mistake or appear to be suspicious" in the eyes of airport security personnel in the U.S.

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Ironically, Trump imposed a massive blockade on the Venezuelan diaspora who want to achieve the "visa for the American dream" and escape the Venezuelan economy for those  beloved dollars. Paradoxically and typical of the gringos, in the name of the "Venezuelan people," Trump has launched economic sanctions against the country and has also raised a spector of military intervention placing the people themselves in the category of suspected terrorists. It’s an elegant way to disguise the racism and xenophobia that has characterized the American president.

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Any follower of anti-Chavism with an aspiration to migrate to the U.S. must be at this time weighing the incongruities: Trump says he loves you, punishes you, worsens the internal economic situation and when you want to go, his regime doesn’t  want to let you enter the land of Mickey Mouse !

But we can be sure that this immigration measure will not affect certain Venezuelan officials such as deputies of the Venezuelan right wing parliament or leaders of the Democratic Unity Table (MUD) who frequently visit the U.S. and have assets there.  Julio Borges, Freddy Guevara, Henrique Capriles, Lilian Tintori and the like have clearly committed terrorist actions in Venezuela, causing terrible consequences in terms of deaths, armed attacks and destruction but  apparently they are not a problem for U.S. security. Isn’t that curious?

As on other occasions, Venezuelan anti-Chavez agents who have constantly asked for U.S. intervention will continue to walk in the land of Uncle Sam, meeting as in the case of  Julio Borges with General McMaster, or Senator Marco Rubio, architects of U.S. foreign policy and agents of the siege against Venezuela.

As a result, Borges' suggestions are likely to be taken into account. In April of this year he gave an interview to The Washington Times and suggested that "the U.S. could prohibit commercial or political exchange with Venezuela, imposing the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the OAS, which would mean the complete isolation of Venezuela: a country under quarantine ". Indeed, Trump's immigration sanction puts Venezuelans in a situation of ban and quarantine.

In the same vein of isolating Venezuela and Venezuelans, in April while Julio Borges was  in Washington he also said that Venezuelan emigration has become a "serious social problem" and a "contagious disease" for many neighboring countries such as Brazil, Chile, Argentina , Dominican Republic, Colombia or Panama.

According to Borges, Venezuelan migration has brought problems such as "organized crime, militarism, paramilitarism, drug trafficking and terrorism" to these countries, so for these "reasons" Borges called on the governments of those countries to take action against Venezuela.

In other words, in light of Borges’ requests and signals and Trump's new decree, we will probably see an escalation of U.S. coercive migratory actions replicated in the countries aligned with the U.S., trying  to place Venezuela in quarantine, closing the way to Venezuelans wanting to travel or already living in any latitude of the continent.

Let's hope that those affected by these restrictions, the uninformed middle class, anti-Chavistas and fools who want to emigrate or those who already live abroad will not blame Maduro.

Originally published in Mision Verdad on Sept. 26, 2017. Translated by Les Blough, Editor of Axis of Logic.

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