Now Venezuela Denies Consular Representation To Its Citizens In Ecuador.

Photo credit: United Nations. Milions of refugees have left Venezuela due mainly to reasons of poverty. Now those who are in Ecuador will have less consular representation.
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday hhat he has ordered the closure of his country’s embassy and consulates in Ecuador. This  move apparently follows a raid ordered by Ecuador’s president earlier this month on the Mexican embassy in Quito to extract a man whom Ecuador says is a criminal who claims he is a political victim seeking political asylum in Mexico.

Ecuadorian authorities raided the embassy on President Daniel Noboa’s orders to arrest Jorge Glas, the nation’s former vice president, accused of corruption and to stop him from making an escape to Mexico.

Maduro announced his decision during a virtual meeting of CELAC, or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, saying that he ordered “diplomatic personnel to return to Venezuela immediately … until international law is restored in Ecuador.”

Noboa claims the raid was authorized to “protect national security,” and says that because Glas was convicted for criminal reasons, not political ones, there were no grounds to grant asylum for him. Glas denies the allegations of corruption.

Following the raid, Mexico expressed outrage and filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice. It requested that the United Nations suspend Ecuador until the country agrees to provide reparations and apologizes for the raid.

With nearly half a million Venezuelan nationals within its borders Ecuador hosts the third largest Venezuelan migrant population worldwide, after Colombia and Peru.

Yet, most of them remain undocumented, preventing them from building a brighter future in the country. Many use the Andean nation as a transit country towards other South American countries, such as Peru and Chile.

There is, however, a regularization process which is key to building productive lives in Ecuador for Venezuelan migrants, allowing access to the job market and social security system, and easing their access to rights and basic services such as health care and education.

Venezuelans must first complete the online and biometric migratory registry with the Ministry of Interior. After obtaining the migratory certificate, they can register via an online platform managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, apply for the temporary residence visa for two years and access an Ecuadorian identity card, known as a cedula.

Whether this closing of consulates in Ecuador will affect the plight of refugees who have left Venezuela, but need to obtain certified professional documents or passport renewals remains to be seen.

There is no indication that Ecuador has yet made any plans to invade the Venezuelan embassy in Quito.

Sources include VOA, United Nations.
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