Source: RT en Español
What it’s about: Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez denounced the use of “normal” migratory flows as justification for a military intervention in the country. Rodríguez said this was an international operation directed by the United States to manipulate the figures of migrant flows to create a humanitarian crisis. She also noted that in 2017 alone, at least 100,000 Colombians arrived in Venezuela and added that Colombia remains the country with the greatest number of internally displaced persons. Rodriguez announced that only 5 percent of Venezuelans that crossed the border wanted to stay in Colombia. The RT article linked to a Twitter post from the vice president’s office on Venezuelan migration that said 69 percent of Venezuelans who fled to Colombia wanted to return the same day, 23 percent indicated they wanted to return in a few months, 5 percent wanted to stay in Colombia, and 3 percent wanted to move to another country.
What’s false about it: First, The United States and like minded countries are not exaggerating these numbers in order to justify a military intervention. There is also no proof that 100,000 Colombians arrived in Venezuela in 2017. In fact, the 100,000 figure seems to have been a popular one in Maduro’s inner circle for a while; last year, Maduro himself claimed that 100,000 Colombians had arrived in the country in 2016, and that the number of Colombians migrating to Venezuela outpaced flows in the opposite direction. Rodríguez also does not offer any sources for her tweet stating that only 5 percent of Venezuelans who crossed the Colombia-Venezuela border wanted to remain in the country. Finally, the focus on Venezuela-Colombia border crossings is distracting from the broader migration crisis given the unique situation at the border (many Venezuelans make day trips over the border to Colombia for basic supplies including food and medicine).
It’s worth noting that it is true that Colombia does have the greatest number of internally displaced persons.