On August 18, 2018, a 2,000-strong mob targeted the 3,000 refugees from Venezuela in the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima. Starting 7am they threw stones, sticks and home-made bombs on tents and squares where the refugees were living. The refugees’ belongings were set on fire. 1,200 refugees were expelled back to Venezuela.
By International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles
The strikes were due to an assault on a Brazilian shop seller the day before by four people, supposedly immigrants. Rightwing politicians and Roraima State governor Suely Campos are pushing forward xenophobia across the State. They want to attract votes from dissatisfied Brazilians and to put pressure on the national government to provide extra funding for the State.
One thousand people cross the border everyday. The Brazilians go to Venezuelan city of Santa Helena to buy fuel. The Venezuelans come to Brazil to buy food and other goods. On top of that, hundreds of refugees cross the border in order to flee starvation and lack of democratic rights. There are around 60,000 Venezuelan refugees in Brazil, mainly in Roraima State. The Brazilian government committed itself to transfer 600 refugees a month to other States.
The situation in Venezuela is dire. President Nicolas Maduro administration announced a new currency and an increase in minimum wage. The monthly minimum wage is 1,800 “bolívares soberanos” which is equivalent to US$ 30. It is one of the lowest wages on earth.
CSP-Conlutas stands in solidarity with the Venezuelan refugees and demand Brazilian government to provide safe and living conditions for all of them.